From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Let's start with the high cost of bragging. Several days ago, I waxed poetic about the glorious weather we were experiencing in the Pacific Northwest. I knew it wouldn't last, but when the magnolia trees came into bloom, I thought there was a possibility that Mother Nature might take us from winter into spring without allowing winter to take an extra bow. Silly me! Frost warnings were issued last night and things got pretty hairy before the sun rose this morning. I was up at first light and was greeted by a landscape that was covered with hoar frost. As visibility got better, I could see the buds on our magnolia tree had frozen, and if we have blooms on the tree this year, it will be nothing short of a miracle. The pansies, however, were troopers and and by noon they were holding their heads high. Someday, I'll write an ode to pansies, but that won't be today and when I do, I promise to spare you my poetry. The irritating part of all this was that by early afternoon it was warm enough to picnic. Go figure.
The springlike weather we've had, also led me to buy strawberries when I made my last "to market, to market..." run. I do this every year, and despite the fact I know these early berries taste like cardboard, I keep trying. They don't have a lot of flavor, so I usually end up using them in cakes or pastry where their lack of flavor and sweetness can be disguised. I've wanted to try the recipe I'm featuring tonight for a while now. I already have a wonderful recipe for strawberry scones, but this one is so much easier to make, that I thought it was time to give it a try. I'm glad I did. If you have a sweet tooth proceed directly to the nearest exit. I am not a sweet lover and even I thought the scones should be sweeter. The next time I make these I'll make it a point to make a powdered sugar glaze to drizzle over the scones before serving. I will, however, make these again for the same reason I tried them. They are quite easy to make and that forgives a lot of things. Here is the recipe.
Fresh Strawberry Scones...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Danilo Alfaro at about.com
2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (table salt, not Kosher)
4 tablespoons butter (½ stick)
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more as needed (see variation 2 below)
1 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped (see note below)
1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or by greasing with butter or shortening.
2) Beat one of eggs along with a tablespoon of water in a small bowl and set aside.
3) In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles large crumbs.
4) In a separate bowl, beat remaining two eggs and stir in cream and almond extract. Stir egg-cream mixture into the dry ingredients and the stir in chopped strawberries.
5) Turn dough out onto a floured board and press it together into a single lump. If it doesn't hold together yet, add more cream, a tablespoon at a time, until it does. But don't overwork the dough, or your scones will turn out hard.
6) Roll dough out to a thickness of 1 inch. Cut dough into rounds with a round or fluted pastry cutter.
Place scones on your prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash reserved in step 1. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Yield: 8 to 12 scones.
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