Monday, February 4, 2013

A Scone a Day Keeps The Blues Away--Blueberry Scones

I belong to an extraordinary community of docents. Considering how small our museum, the Nassau County Museum of Art is, the talent and dedication of this largely senior citizen assemblage never fails to amaze and astonish me. Fifty talented women and one brave gentleman make up this confederacy of beauty and brains. It is a daunting task as I try to emulate the gifted, erudite docents whose footsteps I endeavor to walk in.

Seven women and I embody the freshman class. Together we have overcome the trials and tribulations of training, the ups and downs of which are fodder for a gossip column. Sitting  around a table, dissecting and disseminating works of art , we like-minded women have found friendship and esprit de corps that has sustained us as we wade into museum culture. Sprouting wings, we take on tours with renewed sensibilities. Lunch once a month is a must, our chance to reconnect our private and public lives. 

 Today is the annual Docent Breakfast. The sign-up sheet goes around at an earlier weekly meeting. We are encouraged  to bring home-baked goodies. I hesitate, not having a fully functioning kitchen, but knowing deep down I would not be able to pass up the opportunity. I let a couple of weeks go by. As gentle reminders come our way, I succumb and volunteer Blueberry Scones. Questions flit through my head. Will they be able to indulge in a rich scone? Butter and cream are as taboo as whole milk and regular coffee. At the end of the day I bake to please myself. Blueberries are the perfect antioxidant. A hint of sugar and smidgen of lemon always tickles the palate. Pushing doubts out of the way, I forge ahead and adapt my favorite scone recipe by Tyler Florence. His recipe makes larger scones with a sugary glaze. Less sugar is more for me, which works well for my version. The processor pulses, the oven hums and the house smells of butter and lemon.  I have to keep the family out of the kitchen and the cookie jar!

Blueberry Scones
Makes 15 small scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup heavy cream

Sift flour, baking powder,salt and sugar.

Put sifted mixture into a food processor.

Add butter and pulse 4 or 5 times till the butter and flour look like small peas.

Pour cream to bowl and once again pulse 3 to 4 times. The dough should look like loose clumps.

Empty the dough into a wide bowl and fluff with a fork.

Gently mix in blueberries, taking care not to crush the fruit.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with a Silpat sheet or parchment paper.

Using your hands gather dough into 2 inch balls.At this point the blueberries might get crushed and bleed. Its not a perfect world.

Lightly press them onto the baking sheet. You should have 12 to 15 small scones.

Bake for 20 minutes. The edges should have a light brown crust.

Cool on a rack.

Using a spoon, glaze the scones allowing the excess to drip off.

Lemon Glaze:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 lemon, zested finely 

 Mix lemon juice, sugar, butter and zest in a microwave proof bowl.

Zap for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir well.

The scones were a big hit. Women made food exchanges to accommodate calories. Some opted to take samples for loved ones at home. It makes me happy to see everyone feasting . Thanks Stef, for suggesting I talk about scones. I write this as I savor a scone with my cup of tea.