Since The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook arrived at my doorstep a few weeks ago, the pages have become increasingly crinkled and stained with unruly bits of batter. What a gem! The splendid photography accompanying the stories told by the inhabitants of the ethereal Big Sur have me ready to pack my bags and hightail it out of cold, congested Chicago. The lavish amount of vanilla extract, combined with the sweet burst of fresh blueberries and the sugary crunch of the crusts, makes for one of the best scones you’re likely to ever taste.
Big Sur Bakery Blueberry Scones
Makes about 1 dozen scones.
1 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
1/4-1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1.) To keep the blueberries intact throughout baking, place on a tray in the freezer two hours before baking (genius, no? I can’t wait to make use of this technique in other recipes). 30 minutes before you begin baking, place the butter, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and baking powder in a mixing bowl and then place in the freezer. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.) Whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla in a separate bowl. Remove bowl of chilled ingredients from freezer and use a pastry cutter to break up the butter into pea sized bits. Make a well in the center, and pour the buttermilk mixture into it. Stir just until ingredients are combined. Then, add the blueberries and carefully stir them into the dough.
3.) Place a round, 3-inch cookie cutter directly onto the parchment paper. Using your fingers, take a fistful of dough and press down lightly into the cutter, leaving the top a bit ragged. Pull the cutter away, and push any rowdy dough that rolls onto the parchment back towards the scone. It need not be perfect – I’ve found the more haggard the scone looks prior to baking, the more handsome the end result will be. Repeat this messy process until you have used up all of your dough; you should have about a dozen scones. Then, sprinkle each scone generously with the can sugar.
4.) Bake for 15-20 minutes; until golden along the edges, yet still moist at the center. Remove to a cooling rack.
This recipe was adapted from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year In The Life of a Restaurant by Michelle and Philip Wojtowicz and Michael Gilson with Catherine Price. Published by HarperCollins Publishers; 2009.