Sunday, July 13, 2014

Black raspberry cream scones

I have a problem.  I am swimming in black raspberries.  I realize that, in the grand scheme of things, this is not the worst issue to be faced with, but still.  After living in this house for the better part of 12 years, I finally went bushwhacking behind my fence, and discovered what may be the most enormous patch of black raspberry bushes ever.  And guys?  This year is a GOOD year for black raspberries.  For the last week, I've been picking at least a quart a day, and I am rapidly running out of freezer space.  (To avoid a large blob of frozen berries, rinse them, lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and freeze.  Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag.  Ta dah!  Nicely frozen berries.)  I have been scouring my cookbooks, blogs and assorted magazine, now with an eye towards recipes that use as many berries as possible in one go.

Before you state the obvious, no, I don't make jam.  For one, I don't love standing over a pot of bubbling fruit on a steamy hot July day, and two, I had a bad experience with canning gone wrong a few years ago.  No one thinks a jar of strawberry flavored botulism is a good idea, so I've avoided jam making ever since.

This morning I had that most luxurious of entire Sunday, free of responsibilities and "to do's".  With nothing hovering over my head, I decided that a lazy start to the day, coupled with scones, sounded just about ideal.  Plus, I could stuff berries in them!  Two birds, one stone.  I'm increasingly in love with Marion Cunningham's "The Breakfast Book" (I realize that I'm decades late in discovering this classic, but better late than never!), and flipped through that.  She had a recipe for dried fruit cream scones which looked simple enough, and malleable enough to adapt to my berry based needs.

What resulted was one of the easiest, quickest and tastiest breakfast treats I've made in ages.  With cream scones, there's no cutting in of cold butter, which I always find inexplicably daunting.  Heavy cream is both the fat and the liquid in this recipe, and the results are out of the oven in 20 minutes.  Theoretically, you should probably let them cool before snarfing them down like a bear after a long winter of hibernation.  I did not.  And they were awesome.

Black Raspberry Cream Scones
(Adapted from Marion Cunningham's, "The Breakfast Book")


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup frozen berry/fruit of your choice (Amount approximate; I'm pretty sure I jammed a cup in these.  If using larger berries or fruit, chop them to smallish pieces.  And while you could use fresh, I like using frozen here, as they hold their shape well.)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream (I used 1 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup half and half, because that's what I had on hand, and it worked just fine.)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (plain sugar would work, too)         

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line an ungreased cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl, and stir with a fork until mixed well.  Still using a fork, drizzle in the cream, and stir into the dry ingredients.  The dough will be quite sticky.  At this point, add your frozen berries, and stir them into the dough.  They may resist; this is ok.  You will knead them into submission momentarily.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board, and knead 8-9 times, stuffing uncooperative berries into the dough as needed.  Pat the dough into a rough circle, approximately 10 inches in diameter.  

Brush the whole thing with melted butter (getting the sides as much as possible, too), and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.  Now here's where you need to decide something you want small, dainty, reasonably sized scones, or do you want scones that take over your entire small plate?  I opted for enormous scones, so cut the dough like a pizza into 8 wedges.  You can go smaller, certainly, and get 12 out of this dough.  If so, reduce the baking time, and watch them closely. 

Place the scones on your prepared baking sheet, leaving one inch of space between them. 

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Ideally, allow to cool before inhaling, but that's optional.