Friday, June 27, 2008

I SEE STRAWBERRIES!!!!

Not the tasteless, white interiored monoliths.  The small, deep ruby ones.  So dark they're almost black. And they come in little green paper containers.  Sometimes a little juice is seeping through.   I saw some at the grocery store today.  Next to the wax ones flown from California.  A kid was stocking cryogenically  sealed sponge cakes next to them along with styrofoam ersatz whipped cream.  Blasphemy.
I beg of you.  Go save these delightful nuggets of summer.  Bring them to your cozy home.  Bake a few scones, split the scones in half and pile those little berries high and proud.  Adorn them with a jaunty cap of whipped cream.  And take a bite of summer.

Strawberries and Cream

1 pint fresh strawberries, halved.  Place in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar.  Let sit for a few minutes until sugar has dissolve and the juices are flowing.

For Scones:

4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
Egg wash:  1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of water.  Set aside.

Whipped cream

Beat the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla together  in a bowl and set aside.  

Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl, stir it all up to make sure the salt and leavening are evenly distributed.  Add the diced butter.  Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it looks like a coarse meal.  Add liquid ingredients and stir until the dough is still sticky but workable.  Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Kneed for a minute and roll the dough until its about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut rounds using a biscuit cutter. Brush the top of the scones with egg wash.   Bake at 375 in the middle of the oven for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

When the scones cool, split in half.  Pile the strawberries onto the bottom half, making sure a hearty amount of juice soaks through the bottom layer of scone.  Add a dollop of whipped cream and replace the top of the scone if you like. Enjoy.