Fresh Blueberry Scones

I picked up some fresh blueberries at the megamart and woke Sunday morning with a hankering for scones. Baking with fresh fruit is always a little different from their dried cousins (such as the dried cranberries in these scones), plus I had no heavy cream, so I improvised.

Fresh Blueberry Scones
Servings: 4 (2 scones each)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon (I used Ceylon)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. half and half, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • extra sugar for sprinking before baking

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 9″ round baking dish with parchment and coat the sides of the pan with baking spray.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add the butter to dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender to work the butter into the dry goods. After 3-4 minutes or so the butter should be well cut into the dry goods and the dry goods should look grainy.
  4. Add 3/4 cup half and half and the egg to the dry ingredients. Use a wide rubber spatula to gently mix the dough until it just comes together. A bit of flour in the bowl isn’t a problem.
  5. Add the blueberries and carefully combine them with the dough.
  6. Empty the dough into the prepared pan. Press the dough into a 9″ round circle within the pan. Cut the dough into 8 wedges (I use a bench scraper).
  7. Brush the dough with the remaining half + half and sprinkle generously with sugar.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. The scones are done when an instant-read thermometer reads 205°F when inserted.
  9. Move the pan to a cooling rack and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the scones. Place a plate on top of the pan and up-end the pan/plate to remove the scones. Remove the parchment and return the scones to the cooling rack for another 5-10 minutes.
  10. Serve warm, with a bit of butter or jam. Or allow to cool completely and wrap individual scones in a double layer of plastic wrap to keep for 3-5 days.

Notes:
I think baking these in the pan helped them have a slightly better rise than the free form scones I have made. The fresh berries definitely benefited from the extra sugar.

Most scone recipes tell you to blend the butter and dry ingredients until it resembles small peas. No amount of blending has given me that result. When the butter is no longer sticking to your pastry blender feel free to move on to the next step.

Advertisements

Giant Purple Cookie

I think Ted came home from work with the suggestion for this recipe from a co-worker. In original form it is called “Crustless Cranberry Pie”. A web search turned up a numerous variations on the recipe so we picked one that seemed reasonable. We’ve made it a dozen plus times and love the result. We usually call it ‘giant cranberry cookie’.

Tonight I had no cranberries. Blueberries seemed a fair substitute. The color is definitely eye catching before baking.

Giant Purple Cookie
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350°F. Grease a 9″ glass pie pan and set it aside.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the blueberries and walnuts, stir gently to coat.
  3. Combine the melted butter, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl. Use a fork to combine the ingredients and then pour into the dry ingredient bowl. Stir to combine. The batter will turn purple.
  4. Transfer the batter to the greased pie pan and distribute evenly. Bake for 40 minutes, rotating the dish 180° halfway through baking.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes on cooling rack before serving.

Yogurt Bundt Cake with Blueberries

I have a love-hate relationship with Bundt cakes. I love the look of them and hate that they almost always stick to the theoretically “non-stick” coating of the pan. While watching Martha Bakes I saw her use a paste of softened butter and flour which she brushed into a Bundt pan. It seemed like a good way to get into all the seams so I gave it a try. It worked great!

Yogurt Bundt Cake with Blueberries
Servings: 12-14
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes (plus time for the cake to cool)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (270g) flour plus 2 Tbsp. for prepping the pan
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • powdered sugar to finish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine 2 tablespoons softened butter and 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed into a paste. Use a basting or pastry brush to apply the butter-flour paste into the Bundt pan. Make sure to get the paste into all creases, crevices and seams.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, allspice and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer the remaining 10 tablespoons of butter with the sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and mix to incorporate before adding the next egg. Add the yogurt and vanilla and, again, mix until incorporated.
  4. With the mixer at the slowest speed add the dry flour mixture and combine to form the batter. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the blueberries. Combine using a spatula, being careful to not burst the blueberries (unless you want a purpely-blue cake).
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan; smooth the top the best you can. Bake for 50 minutes, rotating the pan 180°F halfway through cooking. Probe with a long wooden skewer to make sure the cake is fully cooked. The skewer should come out clean in several places in the cake.
  6. Move the cake to a cooling rack and ignore it for at least an hour. Invert the cake onto a server plate. Lift the pan, and with luck (and proper pan prep), the cake will slide out without a problem.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar, slice and serve.

Notes:
It can take 5 minutes or longer, at a fairly high speed, for the butter and sugar to become pale and fluffy. If you only mix these ingredients long enough for them to combine then you will have a much shorter and denser cake.

The basic recipe for this cake was derived from one published in Saveur magazine.

Blueberry Cupcakes

My husband isn’t a huge fan of frosted cake so I try to find something a little different each year for his birthday celebration. This year I hit upon a blueberry muffin-like creation. Inspiration came from a blueberry crumb cake recipe.

Blueberry Cupcake

Wanting something (slightly) lighter than the uber-buttery crumb cake I left out the crumb topping and opted for a sprinkle of sugar and spice.

Blueberry Cupcakes
Servings: 24
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground all-spice
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt plus a pinch
  • 10 Tbsp. room temperature unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries

Directions:

  1. Position the baking rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Add 1/4 cup sugar, the cinnamon, all-spice and a pince of salt to a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and powder and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
  4. Combine the butter and remaining 1 cup of sugar in the bowl of stand mixer. Mix for 1 minute on low to bring the ingredients together and then beat for 2-3 minutes until light and airy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing to combine after each additional. Add the vanilla and sour cream; again mixing to combine.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter and mix until just combined.
  7. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and fold in the frozen blueberries.
  8. Use a disher to fill the cupcake liners. Sprinkle each cupcake with about 1/3 teaspoon of the cinnamon-allspice-sugar mixture.
  9. Bake both cupcake pans on the same baking rack for 30 minutes; rotating pans (and swapping sides) half way through. Test for doneness with a toothpick; it should come out clean with no crumbs or batter sticking to it. A little blue from a errant blueberry is certainly possible but not a concern.
  10. Cool for ~15 minutes on racks. Remove from the cupcake pans and enjoy.

Notes:
A disher, such as one of these, makes cupcake, muffin, cookie and pancake prep so much easier.

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Classic Blueberry Crumb Cake.

Blueberry Gingerbread Snack Cake

Ted does most of the dessert baking for our Saturday night gatherings. This week though he had other plans so I used the opportunity to try a recipe I had bookmarked (like in a real book) some time ago. The gingerbread flavor was pretty subtle here so perhaps my ground ginger was a little old, or maybe more was needed. Still it made a lot of tasty cake.

This recipe is from of The Way We Cook by Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven. I’ve tweaked the ingredient list a bit and written up the instructions in my own words. Enjoy.
Continue reading