It’s Impossible to improve on the original old family recipe, unless you add a dab of whipped cream!
I was afraid this would be one of those years when the strawberries would taste watery since we’ve had so much rain, but I was wrong! The strawberries have been absolutely delicious this year – sweet, plump, juicy, bountiful dark red jewels.
We’ve already frozen tons for use this winter, and we’ve eaten our fill fresh from the bowl sitting on the kitchen table. Looking at that bowl, my granddaughter and I decided this morning to make my mother’s recipe for strawberry cream scones, and everyone in the house was happy we did so.
They are light and flakey, sweet, but not too much so. It is not usual in our house to add the extra whipped cream, but once in a while, at the height of Strawberry Season, it is a special treat. They are also delicious with a big dollop of local Greek yoghurt.
Lots and lots of scones
My mother loved scones. She had more than a dozen recipes for different scones she regularly baked, and I don’t think she had a favorite. Her recipe box included: English Scones, Budget Cream Scones which used buttermilk rather than cream, Dill Sour Cream Scones, Blueberry Almond Scones, Maple Scones, and Cinnamon Chocolate Scones. She also had a funny little scone recipe she tore out of a romance novel called “Assignment Seduction” so I named them Seductive Strawberry Scones. I tried that recipe once and it did not turn out as well as her regular scone recipe, but I kept the name, just because.
Thus, in order to make Seductive Strawberry Scones for my inn guests, I decided years ago to use Mom’s basic quick recipe and add some diced strawberries, and it worked like a charm. They were always a big hit with my guests, and what I loved about them the most is that they are minutes to put together from start to finish, and no eggs. You can also make them with gluten-free flour.
If you don’t have cake flour, use all-purpose flour but reduce by 1/4 cup of flour, replacing it with 1/4 cup of cornstarch, and sift together. If you don’t have cream, use buttermilk, or milk with a little sour cream or yoghurt mixed in.
If you don’t have strawberries, use any berry or chopped up fruit such as peaches, or omit the fruit altogether.
Seductive Strawberry Cream Scones
2/3 cup diced fresh strawberries, deliciously local if possible
12 3/4 oz. cake flour, about 3 cups
1 tbsp. baking powder, non-aluminum
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
Whipped cream with a little Grand Marnier and
strawberries to garnish, all optional
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet, or line with parchment.
Dice your strawberries and set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a large bowl.
Add the diced strawberries and mix evenly.
Mix the vanilla into the cream.
Add the liquid all at once to the dry with a wooden spoon or your fingers, pulling up the flour from the bottom and gently spreading on top of the liquid until just about mixed.
Pour out onto a floured surface and gently pull the sides of the dough up over on itself in a fold in one direction and then the next. You want to make a few layers, but don’t overwork. This is gentle hand work.
Decide on your shape. You can either divide into two flattened discs and cut each into six pie wedges, or cut out biscuit-like rounds. I do it both ways depending on my mood, but my mom always formed a disc, patted it down to an inch or so, and cut it into six wedges, no waste. She placed the whole disc on the sheet, but separated the wedges just a bit. They often cooked together, but easily pulled apart. I give them more space and bake the wedges individually. During this process, use only as much flour as possible to keep everything from sticking.
Whichever shape you pick, cut down quickly and vertically with a sharp bench scraper or biscuit cutter. You want nice crisp edges so as not to seal the layers of dough together which prevents a nice lift.
Brush the tops with a little more cream, and place in the center rack of the oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 400 degrees.
Bake for 20 minutes and check. They should be nice and tall, with visible layers all around the cut sides, and browned on top. They may need a few more minutes, but keep your eye on them.
Remove to a cooling rack.
Serve as is, with a little cultured butter, or split and fill with a little whipped cream and some more fresh strawberries and call it dessert. If you have a little plate with painted strawberries on it, all the better! To really liven this up, add a bit of Grand Marnier to the whipped cream.
Make one dozen scones.
P.S. I think Mrs. McCarthy might approve….
A little healthier version
You can us white, whole-wheat flour (again, with the substation of 1/4 cup of the flour for corn starch) reduced the sugar to three tablespoons, and use non-fat buttermilk. They will be delicious, especially if the strawberries are freshly picked!
© Copyright 2019 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read, The New Vintage Kitchen.