Friday, 10 May 2013

Blueberry buttermilk scones and moving boxes

Happy Mother's Day to all the mumsy people out there! Unfortunately I won't be able to cook my Mum a proper Mother's Day brunch, but hopefully I will get the chance to do that soon enough. Until then, Mum I want you to know I was thinking of you when I was eating these scones!

I'm hard at work using up stuff from my pantry in anticipation of the move. And after the move, there will be the Culinary Consultant's kitchen to clean out in anticipation of potential move number two. It seems likely I will spend the next few months carrying moving boxes from place A to place B and then from place B to place C. With the inevitable outcome that for the next few months, I will only have access to a fraction of my clothes, none of my kitchen stuff and no space for crafting. And the little baking and cooking I will be able to do, will be done amongst moving boxes. And could someone tell me how I managed to collect all this stuff, especially as I had decided I wouldn't buy any unnecessary things. The thought that will get me through this is that should everything go as planned, there is an entire craft room in the foreseeable future. Along with a huge kitchen, conservatory and garden. But it's still early days, and for now, all I can do is hope and keep my fingers crossed that everything is going as planned.

So this time on my list of things to use up was blueberries and buttermilk. And what else could that mean than blueberry scones. I have not had much success with scones in the past, apart from my easy cheese scones. But sweet scones usually end up in a complete mess, like the time when I forgot to turn on the oven and was wondering why the scones didn't bake at all. Well, this time I did remember to turn on the oven. I used this recipe from Martha Stewart. I made a few minor substitutions, like using the flour I happened to have around, and substituting dark sugar for caster sugar. I also thought making 12 scones out of this batch would make them too small to my taste, so I made 10.

Blueberry buttermilk scones (makes 10-12):
2 cups flour (the original recipe said 1 1/2 cup all purpose and 1/2 cup cake flour, I used 3/4 cup brown wheat and 1 1/4 all purpose)
3 tbsp granulated sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
115 g butter (cold)
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
(1 egg for the egg wash plus sugar for sprinkling on top)

The howto:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (375 degrees F). Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter and use your fingers to mix it in until the dough is the consistency of course sand (or use a pastry cutter). Add blueberries. In another bowl, mix buttermilk, egg and vanilla and add to the dough. Don't over mix. Very quickly knead once or twice to incorporate all ingredients, form into a disc and cut into 10 or 12 pieces. If you want to, you can brush the scones with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top (I didn't as I was short of eggs, which is very unusual in this house). Bake for 20 minutes, and transfer onto a rack to cool.

The verdict:
These scones have a really great crumbly texture. I thought that the brown flour might make them less crumbly but I think it worked really well, and the scones didn't taste healthy at all. However, I like my scones really sweet, so I would possibly add a bit more sugar next time. This might also be a consequence of switching caster sugar for brown sugar, but I do like the caramel-y flavour of dark sugar. The buttermilk keeps the scones wonderfully moist. My blueberries were absolutely gigantic, and they made lovely juicy little surprises in the scones. This will definitely be my go-to recipe for scones, and I will keep the brown flour as a permanent part of the recipe.

Card of the day:
Obviously the card of the day had to be a Mother's day card. Well, two in fact, one for my Mum and one for my Grandma. The first one, I stamped flowers and swirls using Tim Holtz distress inks, then embossed with a swirly embossing folder. The butterflies are also stamped using distress ink and fussy cut using scissors. I cut the form for the sentiment using scissors and stamped swirls and "Happy Mother's Day" in Finnish. I sponged ink onto the edges of the card and the sentiment and finished with a bit of bakery's twine.

The second card is for my Gradma and is a combination of water coloured flowers and distress ink applied using ink blending foam through a paper doily.


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