Like recognizing Imbolg on 1 February and the Church’s Candlemas on 2 February, I tend to begin Lughnasadh on 1 August and celebrate Lammas, the Loaf-mas, on August 2nd. So today is the Festival of Bread in my tradition. This might be idiosyncratic, but it works for me. I celebrated today by giving the house a thorough cleaning — and baking two dozen Blackberry-Walnut Scones, using local blackberries. Of which I’ve eaten three already (scones, not blackberries, more like a pint of those… ahem…). The rest of the scones will go in the burgeoning freezer, and I have a tray of blackberries freezing now. There are black beans simmering on the stove top for a corn & black bean salsa that I’ll make tomorrow with local corn and tomatillos. And Hatch chiles are roasting in the oven (because I haven’t managed to move the grill up here yet unfortunately). So the house smells like harvest.
Since this is the Bread Festival, I decided to share this easy scone recipe. It’s a riff off of a King Arthur Baking Co recipe. King Arthur, in addition to being local and having fantastic bread flours, has some of the best recipes I know. But being me, I modify even these gems. This one needed help with the liquids. The original recipe called for dried fruits and I wanted to use fresh. So here is the result. I can assure you that these are quite edible. The problem is not inhaling them as they come out of the oven.
3 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup sugar 3/4 tsp salt 1 TBS baking powder 2 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp ground coriander 8 TBS butter, chilled & cut into pea-sized cubes 1 cup fresh blackberries 1 cup walnuts, crushed and toasted 3 eggs 1/3 cup whole milk 1/3 cup crème fraîche
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spices.
Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is lumpy. Some chunks of butter should remain unincorporated.
Stir in the fruit and nuts.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add milk and crème fraîche and beat all till frothy.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Using a sturdy wooden spoon, stir the dough ingredients just until it all holds together. It will be a rather runny dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. (I use a silicon mat & highly recommend buying one!)
Place the dough on the parchment, and divide it in half. Form each half into a disk about 6” in diameter and 1″ thick.
Slice each circle into 6 wedges. (It helps to wet the cutting tool.)
Pull the wedges away from the center to separate them about 1/2” apart. You’ll need to reshape the triangles since this is a wet dough.
Place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake the scones for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow the scones to cool briefly on the pan, then serve warm, adding jam & butter, if desired. (If…)
I made this Ginger-Peach Preserve last night. It goes very well with the scones!
When the scones are cooled, store them at room temperature in a plastic bag for up to several days. To reheat: place on a baking sheet, cover lightly with foil, and warm in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
King Arthur also has a gluten-free version of their recipe: Gluten-Free Whole Grain Scones.
©Elizabeth Anker 2021