Sunday, July 5, 2015

Farmer's Markets and Blackberry Scones!

Even back when I had a huge garden, I still loved going to Farmer's Markets.  You can always find something new to try whether that is something you don't grow yourself or some yummy goodness that a vendor made.  A nice bonus is that you're never 100% sure what you'll find until you get there!  

Since my health won't let me have a big garden anymore (Asthma truly sucks), I've grown to love the Farmer's Markets even more.  I pay a little more than it cost for me to grow my own, but in the big picture, it's worth it as I still get fresh, local produce.

This past weekend, the hubby and I visited a market on Saturday morning before we had to pick up the Short Dude from summer camp.  The particular market had a coffee vendor, so my morning was even better!  Hubby found a vendor who had blackberry scones.  He bought a couple and liked them so much that he went and bought the remaining 3 they had left.  

So I searched and found a recipe for them.  I'd never made scones before and surprisingly, they were much easier to make than I'd realized.  They're really nothing more than fancy biscuits!  I used this recipe, and I think it turned out pretty good.  

Here's what's involved:

Oh, I forgot this in the pic....

I had the blackberries in the freezer (forgot to get a pic of them before) but the recipe called for putting some flour on the frozen berries, mixing them and putting them back in the freezer until later.  Thawed berries will not only get mushy but turn the whole recipe purple.

It starts easy enough with the dry ingredients and cutting in the butter.  Now, my Gram was amazing in the kitchen and could use her hands to cut the butter in, I'm not that good.  I also never got the hang of using a pastry cutter.  It should be easy but I just can't...LOL.  I use two knives to do it.  It's easy and I don't need extra gadgets in my kitchen.

This next step is what makes the dough so rich and yummy!  You mix the half and half with vanilla.  I use Vanilla-Bean paste for anything that calls for vanilla now, it's so yummy.  I get it on Amazon, click here to find it!  I buy it in large bottles for my jam business but you can get it in smaller quantities.  

Gently mix the half & half/vanilla mixture into the flour.  Don't over mix it!  It will look like this, it doesn't look mixed well but trust me here.

At this point, use your hands to gently mix in the frozen, floured berries.  Flour your hands, it won't prevent any of the mix from sticking but it will help.

Once the berries are mixed in, somewhat, again, don't over mix it!  Turn it out onto a floured surface.  Don't knead it, just kinda pat it into a square.

Cut the square into fourths.  Then, cut each fourth in half diagonally.  

I put them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  You don't have to use parchment, but I didn't want to have to scrub the berries that will inevitably ooze out of the scones and bake onto the sheet.  

Then you take the last tablespoon of butter and cut it into 8 pieces and put each little piece on top of the scones.

Bake them for about 15-17 minutes at 425 degrees.  They come out looking like this

I set the cooling rack over a sheet of wax paper 

The glaze is so simple.  It was just a cup of powdered sugar and the juice of a lemon whisked together.

I just used a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the still-hot scones.  You could use less if you like or even make more and for a heavier glaze but I think this was just the right amount.  This is where the wax paper under the cooling rack comes in handy to avoid a messy clean up!  

Once they cooled, this is how they looked

The next time I make them, I'll probably cut the triangles in half again as I'd like them to be a bit smaller.  They were flaky like biscuits and the lemon in the glaze plays off the blackberries well.  In the background is that hint of vanilla.  All together, they are delicious!  Hubby and the Short Dude gave it two thumbs up and asked what other fruits I could make them with.  I'm thinking it would work with any berry, and the glaze can be made with lemon or even just milk (or more half & half).  My son wants me to make them with chocolate chips...LOL