Friday, January 27, 2012

{DBC} blueberry-lemon scones

I have to admit, I was rather pleased when I read this month's Daring Baker's Challenge recipe. Pleased and also amused, given my anglophilic tendencies as of late, most notably with the release of series 2 of BBC's incredible Sherlock.

[Of which I have gushed about more than enough in all manners of communication possible to a moderately technologically-inclined college student, so I will say nothing here. Except that it remains the best television series ever produced.]

It is not actually the 27th at the moment; in fact, it's the 22nd, but I'm amidst a rather lazy Sunday morning and so decided to take a break from Douglas Adams with a bit of blogging.

As it were, I'm sitting at my desk with headphones humming Rossini and a mug of steaming hot chocolate [a cup of milk heated with a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, a few bittersweet chocolate chips, a splash of cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a pinch of chili powder if I'm feeling particularly daring (which, today, I was not)], watching the first snow of 2012 drifting unassumingly onto car roofs and tree branches, and the whole image is picturesque in a wonderfully pretentious way. But I figure a bit of faux-class on a Sunday morning after a first week of classes was forgivable.

Well, first week for most - one day for me. I've lucked out somewhat this term with my schedule, which leaves me with Wednesdays and Fridays off from class. Had I not had a part-time job [which fills my vacant week days], it would be a dream. But given my habit of spending all of my free time on and fiendish bargain-hunting for clothes online, I'll keep the job. Nevertheless, it's not going to be as lax of a semester as I'd have liked, what with a full load of philosophy seminars and history courses in Spanish [and a course in financial mathematics which I am choosing to pretend does not actually exist]. So I've been trying to fit in as much Hitchhiker's Guide as possible before Avicenna, Aristotle, and Nagel become my literary constants.

It had been going somewhat well until I became distracted by Tina Fey's Bossypants.

Blueberry-Lemon Buttermilk Scones
Adapted from the January 2012 Daring Baker's Challenge
Recipe yields 8-12 scones, depending on the size.

For the scones, you'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 heaping tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 8 tbsp butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup blueberries, either fresh or frozen

For the lemon glaze, you'll need:
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farhenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and lemon zest and mix thoroughly. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or your hands [or do the entire thing in an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment] until crumbly.

In another small bowl, mix milk, buttermilk, and lemon juice until uniform. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Slowly pour about three-quarters of the milk mixture in the well, and knead the dough. If the dough is too try, add more of the milk. You may not need to use all of the liquid. Once dough is at the proper texture [it should come together, but should not be too sticky], gently add in the blueberries.

Using your hands, roll out biscuit-sized balls of dough and place on the baking sheet, three inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are golden-brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 mins before transferring to a serving plate.

To prepare the glaze, stir confectioner's sugar and lemon juice until the mixture is smooth. The consistency should be thin, but not watery. Add more confectioner's sugar or lemon juice as necessary. Pour the glaze on top of the warm scones and serve immediately.

The DBC recipe as given was for plain scones/biscuits, but I altered the recipe to allow for buttermilk, lemon, and blueberries, and this is the recipe that I've typed up. The texture of these is unbelievable, and the glaze is such an amazing touch. It helps that I am absolutely enamored with scones - they are, in fact, carbohydrates in their most transcendental form - and so I had quite a lot of fun coming up with, what I hoped would be, a fantastic flavor combination. I also did a buttermilk version of my oatmeal-raisin scones from a few months ago, which we ate with a spread of cherry preserves.

The scones were made yesterday afternoon with the help of my darlings Matt and Kyana, who had come to our apartment for an afternoon of Sherlock series 2, which Matt had not seen in its entirety. It was all very posh and adorable, gathered around the coffee table with a basket of scones, an assortment of teas, some quality conversation and theorizing about Moffat, Gatiss, and Thompson's incredible scripts, and Benedict Cumberbatch's unbelievably provocative voice serenading us with superhuman deductions.

[Did I say I was going to shut up about Sherlock? I should also have mentioned that I am an enormous hypocrite.]

If all goes as planned, the weekend of the 27th should be spent with my darling Nitya, who has graciously decided to make the long trek up to our apartment. I anticipate lots of baking and good food. Perhaps some quality television, even a trek downtown for used books. But the food is a given.

It's been a very fine start to 2012, I have to say.


  1. I'm so in love with your tea pot :D and the scones look perfect!

  2. Thanks so much sweetie! The teapot is one of my favorites :)


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