I never know what to wear during the transition from winter to spring. After last weekend’s glorious warm and sunny weather, I stepped out Monday morning barelegged and ready to bask in another delightful day, but I totally misunderstood the forecast. By my evening walk home, I was wishing for a pair of tights and another layer. Spring has not fully sprung.
Inside the comfort of my cozy kitchen, I have been embracing the new season. With a couple quarts of ripe organic strawberries on-hand, I baked a batch of strawberry scones. The sweetness of the berries balanced the subtle tang of buttermilk in the dough. The scones were just what I needed to survive all these dramatic temperature fluctuations.
Makes 8 scones
3 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
6 ounces (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk plus more for brushing scones
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped strawberries
Sliced strawberries for decoration
Sanding sugar, optional
In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, granulated sugar, salt and baking powder. Rub the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers or a pastry blender until the butter resembles pea-sized clumps distributed through the flour.
In a small bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to create a shaggy dough. In another small bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining flour before stirring into the dough. The dough will be crumbly, but pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick on a flour-dusted sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out the scones. Pat the scraps back together and cut again. Transfer the scones to the prepared sheet pan placing them 2 inches apart.
Brush the tops of the scones with buttermilk, top with sliced strawberries andsanding sugar, if using. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the scones are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Scones are best eaten the day they are baked. Store in an airtight container and refresh in a 300 degree F oven for 5 minutes.