Friday, August 14, 2009

Blueberry Week

Do you know what scones are supposed to taste like? If I remember correctly from way back when I was in England, they are dense and a bit dry. I remember needing to put butter on them. I made these scones yesterday but they came out soft and doughy. Not what I had anticipated. It is very hard for me to tell you what they should have been like since the only scones I have eaten recently are from our local grocery store. I thought these scones tasted good but not like what I thought scones are supposed to taste like. They also did not come out very "pretty". I'm quite sure this is all my fault. I did take the butter out of the fridge a bit early so I'm thinking they got doughy because the butter wasn't cold enough. If you know something about how scones should taste/mouth feel, please let me know. I need someone from England to comment on this post! If not, I'm going to have to try making these again or maybe try another scone recipe. D likes the idea of chocolate chip scones so maybe you'll see a recipe for those on here soon. I found a website that gives some tips and suggestions about how to bake and eat scones. Check it out here. I really wish I had read this before I baked these scones!

I also need to tell you that when I went shopping for cardamom, I was very surprised. I found it in only two stores. That in itself wasn't surprising. The really surprising part was the price! I could NOT justify buying a bottle of cardamom for $12.00!! Especially since I am pretty sure I'll never use it again. The cheapest I could find it around here was $11.00 at the local Shoppers Food Warehouse. I did some research (afterwards) and found out that it is one of the most expensive spices. I always thought that honor belonged to saffron. I found out that the TWO most expensive spices are saffron and pure vanilla. Cardamom comes in third. I did further research and found out that you can substitute nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, or mace for cardamom. Apparently, though it has its own unusual taste it is fairly similar to those spices. The website that I read about it on suggests starting with half of the recommended amount. I simply used nutmeg. Since I know that I like nutmeg, I went ahead and used the full 1/4 tsp.

Here is what I found out about cardamom: "Cardamom -The third most expensive spice used frequently in East Indian, Scandinavian, Arabic and Central African cuisines. It is an essential ingredient in Arabic coffee and the scent is most enticing."

Makes 16
Active: 15 Mins.
Total: 1 hr. (includes chilling)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
¼ tsp each ground cardamom and salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1-1/2 cups blueberries
¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
2 large eggs
¼ tsp almond or vanilla extract

1. Line two small baking sheets with parchment paper. In large bowl, whisk flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the baking powder, zest, cardamom and salt until combined. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in blueberries.

2. In 2-cup glass measure, whisk ¾ cup cream, eggs and extract until blended; slowly stir in dry ingredients just until a wet dough comes together. Divide in half.

3. With floured hands, transfer dough to each prepared baking sheet. Pat each into a 6-1/4 inch round, a scant 1 in. thick. With floured knife, cut each round into 8 wedges. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

4. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush dough with remaining 1 Tbsp cream and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Bake 24 minutes, or until scones are golden and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm.