Thanks to the sage advice of Farm Girl plus a happy cooking accident, I decided to try my hands at making strawberry scones. If you reference a previous post here at Jaded, you will see that I (as well as certain other nefarious sorts) have been coveting the strawberry scones at a favorite local cafe. Although it briefly crossed my mind that I might attempt this recipe at home, I apparently needed a little nudge in that direction. (Thank you Farm Girl for planting that seed).
The other impetous came when I woke up one morning, groggy and bitter about kitchen re-modeling, only to find myself fresh out of butter. Scones were on the menu and a trip to the store was not a pleasant prospect. So my mind shifted into substitution mode, as I inventoried the refrigerator. Ah ha! Cream cheese, that'll probably work, and OK there is just over 2 Tablespoons of butter left. Even safer. So I set to making scones with half butter and half cream cheese. And wouldn't you know, the batter came out a lovely texture. Softer and easier to handle. And when the scones came out of the oven they were moister and fluffier. My only gripe was my poor choice of flavor combinations. That's when I realized the ideal cream cheese scone would be of the strawberry variety.
So mid-week, after work, left to my own devices in a quiet kitchen, I threw together some strawberry scones. Here's how I did it:
2 cups flour
heaping ¼ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 ½ Tbsp butter
2 ½ Tbsp cream cheese
1 egg, beaten
½ cup milk (I use 2%)
1 cup frozen strawberries (ideally these would be pre-sliced)
Combine flour through salt and stir to combine. Add butter and cream cheese and cut with a pastry blender until you achieve coarse crumbs, no larger than peas. Mix milk with egg and add all at once. Stir to combine. Flour a countertop and your hands. With your hands mix your batter together until it holds in a ball. Knead a few times on the counter, then shape into a disc shape (about 6 to 8 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick in the center, thinner at the edges). With a floured knife, cut off the top of the dough. If the cutting gets difficult, re-flour your knife. Remove top section and set aside. Arrange strawberries evenly on top of the bottom section of dough. If strawberries are not particularly ripe -- with a whitish interior -- sprinkle with about 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar and a bit of salt. Place top section of dough on strawberries and attempt to fuse the outer edges with the bottom section. Cut with a sharp knife into 12 pie-shaped segments. Place individually, without touching, on a cookie sheet, after brushing excess flour off bottoms. Bake at 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Here's what I think: They taste wonderful. Next time I will freeze strawberries specifically for this purpose -- I will wash AND DRY them and slice them to about 1/4 inch thick or so. My frozen strawberries had been haphazardly frozen in large chunks and were bejeweled with ice crystals. They added too much moisture, which interfered with the baking of the surrounding dough, leaving it somewhat raw in spots.
If you crave more scone ideas, I just found a website with a huge list of variations.