Friday, December 02, 2016

Strawberry-Sour Cream Scones with Brown Sugar Crumble

I got this recipe from The Kitchn. I had originally meant to make it some time when I had access to strawberries in season, and while I’m sure that that is when it would be at its best, grocery store strawberries did the trick here. Note that I used white whole wheat flour instead of white flour, and these turned out great! I think these would work well with other fruit, too.

For the scones
2 cups all-purpose flour (see note above)
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup (8 Tbsp.) cold unsalted butter or margarine
¾ cup lactose-free sour cream
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup roughly chopped strawberries (about ½ of a pint basket)

For the topping
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. salted butter or margarine, at room temperature

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Dice the butter into small cubes and toss with the flour mixture. Work the butter into the flour with a fork or pastry cutter until it looks like coarse bread crumbs.

Whisk together the sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the sour cream mixture into the well. Using a wooden spoon or stiff spatula, mix and fold the sour cream mixture into the flour mixture. Be as gentle as possible.

When almost all the flour has been incorporated (it's ok if there's still loose flour at the bottom of the bowl), turn the dough out onto the counter. Pat it into a wide rectangle and sprinkle half of the strawberries over half the dough. Fold the dough over onto itself and pat again into a wide rectangle. Sprinkle the remaining strawberries over half the dough and fold it over itself again. Fold it once or twice more to work in the strawberries, being as gentle as possible so as not to smoosh the strawberries (this is where it’s easier to use grocery store strawberries instead of seasonal ones). If any strawberries fall out, press them into the top.

Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat. Shape it into a disk roughly 1-inch thick. (Or divide the dough and shape into two small disks to make small-sized scones.) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

A half hour before baking, heat the oven to 400 °F. Combine the flour and brown sugar for the topping, and then work in the butter using a fork until it becomes a smooth paste.

Remove the scones from the refrigerator. Crumble the topping evenly over the surface of the scones. Use a bench scraper or pizza wheel to slice the disk into 8 equal-sized wedges. Reposition the wedges on the baking sheet to put a few inches of space between each scone.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until the scones are firm on the sides and golden-brown on the top. Let the scones cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
These scones are best on the day that they're made. (If you're planning on keeping them for several days, you can skip the topping – which will absorb moisture and might get mushy – and instead spread the tops with soft butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar just before eating. That being said, I used the topping on mine before baking them, and I still liked them after a few days, so don’t sweat it too much.)

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