Thursday, March 7, 2013

Maple Blueberry Scones

So as I thought about recipes that were not in the cookie, brownie, or cupcake department I stumbled upon a recipe for Maple Blueberry Scones by Joy the Baker. And by stumbled upon I mean Isabel sent me the recipe.  Realizing that I just had to make them I set aside time to go buy blueberries and pure maple syrup.  Of course Baltimore then decides to have the wimpiest winter storm of all time and we got a load of gross wind and rain.
This morning I managed to drag myself out of bed early enough to get to the grocery store and buy a lot of some blueberries.  As I got prepared to get started I realized that not only have I never ever made scones, but I do not think I have ever even had a scone.  How is this possible! I didn't discover my gluten intolerance until late in high school, surely I must have tried a scone at some point in my life. Nope.  Cannot think of one scone, so if I have had any they were certainly not memorable.
Now this poses a bit of an issue with baking them because I don't really know what the texture is supposed to be like in the end.  I decided that I would make them anyway and just see what happens and rely on my hungry roommates to let me know how they are.  Now they still need some tweaking in the future but I think they're tasty enough to share now

3 cups of Bob's Red Mill all purpose GF flour
1 tsp of xanthan gum
1/2 tsp of baking soda
2 1/2 tsps of baking powder
pinch of ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp of salt
3/4 cup (1 stick+4 tbsps) of butter
1 egg
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tbsps of pure maple syrup
3/4 cup of cold buttermilk
1 cup of fresh or frozen bluebrries (frozen blueberries need to be thawed and drained, also be wary as they will probably color the scone a bit!)
3 tbsps of buttermilk for brushing the tops before baking
Granulated sugar for sprinkling before baking (I really wish I had coarse sugar for this part because it looks nicer, but alas)

Move a rack to the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  No need to grease anything for these
Combine flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg in a bowl (preferably sifted)
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients (basically cubing the butter into the dry mix) and combine with either your hands or a pastry blender.  Very much like making pie crust. The mixture will look like a coarse meal. Set aside
In a separate bowl combine the egg, maple syrup, vanilla, and buttermilk and beat lightly with a fork.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine (with a fork or hands if you dont mind getting a bit messy) until it forms a soft dough
When the dough is still soft fold in the blueberries. 
Coat a counter space or large cutting board with extra flour and turn dough onto the surface.
Knead about 15 times (until it really comes together)
Luckily no rolling pin is needed for this dough! You can use one but it's easy to just press the dough out into about 1 inch thickness.  I did not have a cookie cutter on hand so I used a knife to cut circles and then just reformed them a bit by hand.  You can also just cut triangles or squares, whatever floats your boat.
Place on prepared baking sheet (I did 6 at a time, so it was 2 batches) and brush tops with a light coating of buttermilk then sprinkle the sugar overtop
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the tops get nice and golden brown

They were not quite as maple flavored as I was hoping, it acted as more of just a sweetening agent so I want to experiment with the amount.  Changing the amount of liquid will have a lot of impact on the ratio of dry ingredients as scones tend to have a 3:1 (dry:wet) ratio
They also did not rise as much as I would have liked, so it seems additional xanthan gum is required, this also caused them to be a but soft on the inside which I'm pretty sure isn't entirely the correct scone texture
Spreading some nice jam (and butter maybe) on them adds for a lovely treat.  Especially if you toast one first.  Sounds like my breakfast tomorrow is nice and planned.  Also would love to get my hands on some lemon curd...
For my first scone endeavor I am pretty satisfied and look forward to playing around with it more!

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