Photo Credit: A. Kane
Sunday mornings—you just can't beat them. They are a time for sitting with an enormous Sunday New York Times next to you, rearranging the sections in order of personal preference. Or they're a time for watching the new programs on the television, and listening to what each and every pundit has to say before making your own decision. They mean a leisurely breakfast with family or friends. And that could mean strawberry scones.
I have tried many scone recipes. Some are crumbly, some tender. Some are moist, almost cake-like, while others are dry, and fall apart the moment that you bite into them. But this is the recipe that I return to time and again. It's just right—and with the first springtime berries these scones are scrumptious.
Scones and quick breads make the perfect food for Sunday mornings. There is no waiting around for yeast to rise, nothing to frost, and nothing to sit in the refrigerator. You just mix in the ingredients, and pop them into the oven. All together, it takes about thirty minutes to enjoy something warm, fresh from the oven.
In this recipe I use a bit of cornmeal. I find its graininess offers a subtle crunch to the dough. Although this recipe calls for strawberries, you can use almost any berry (even frozen) that you like, and in the winter I love these scones with chopped dried apricots.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornmeal (finely ground)
¼ cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
¾ cup strawberries, diced into ¼ inch pieces
1 tablespoon milk
Turbinado sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and salt together until well mixed and without lumps. Cut in butter, or work through the flour mixture until small pieces, about the size of a pea are obtained. It is fine if the mixture is not uniform.
In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk and the sour cream. All at once, pour into the flour mixture and begin to mix with a wooden spoon. When dough is just about made, stir in the berries. It is important that dough is not overworked, or a tough scone will be made.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a silicone lining. With floured hands, pat the dough into 8 equal size portions, separating by about an inch. The scones will spread, and touch upon baking. Gently flatten the surface of each scone slightly. In a small bowl, mix the egg and the tablespoon of milk. Brush this mixture over each scone. Sprinkle with additional sugar, if using.
Bake for 13-17 minutes, or until scones are just golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, then enjoy.
Adrienne Kane is a writer and photographer. She is the author of a memoir, Cooking and Screaming, and the food blog, nosheteria.com