Saturday, March 03, 2012

Real Kitchen: Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? So it pays to start off on the right foot. I decided to try and make some breakfast foods at home to keep the cost down and watch the ingredients (no more preservatives!). To help in my efforts, I went to Tyler Florence. I acquired a book of his called Real Kitchen, and the blueberry scones were calling my name.

I wasn't exactly thrilled with the tops of the scones being coated in sugary frosting, so I decided to leave them naked, which didn't turn out so well (read further down). I got my organic blueberries at Central Market, but most of the other ingredients I already had on hand.

I think something is very wrong with this recipe. When I followed the directions, I got a gluey brick that would never have accepted blueberries without crushing them beyond recognition. I ended up having to add another ½ cup of cream to even get it to a usable consistency. When I added the blueberries, I had to be super careful not to crush any since the dough was still relatively brick-like. Luckily they baked up pretty soft.

The other issue I had with these scones pertains to the icing. I deliberately left it off since I definitely didn't need the extra calories, but that icing provides pretty much the only sweetener for the scone. If you're going to do what I did, boost the sugar in the dough a bit to compensate. No, seriously, they're pretty bland. I had to sprinkle mine with powdered sugar to help them go down.

I like the idea here, but not sure I would make them again. Maybe someone else's recipe?

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze
From Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones

Lemon Glaze:
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lemon, zest finely grated

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough.

Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12x3x1¼ inches. Cut the rectangle in ½ then cut the pieces in ½ again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in ½ on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

You can make the lemon glaze in a double boiler, or for a simpler alternative, you can zap it in the microwave. Mix the lemon juice with the confectioners' until dissolved in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water for the double-boiler method, or in a microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the butter and lemon zest. Either nuke the glaze for 30 seconds or continue whisking in the double boiler. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

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