Aaaaand we’re back with another recipe from the Bobbette & Belle cookbook. This is the Christmas gift that keeps on giving, folks! In case you missed the first two recipes, they were:
Today, we’re making blueberry scones.
Truth be told, I’m not a big scone person. I have made them only once before at a baking class. I never order a scone from, say, Starbucks, but I have picked up a homemade biscuit from the jam lady at the Farmer’s Market. Are biscuits and scones the same? Let’s save that for another day.
I was, however, intrigued by the blueberry scones in the Bobbette & Belle cookbook. I chose three recipes that piqued my interest and asked Cedric to pick one, and he chose the blueberry scones with no hesitation. So blueberry scones it was.
The ingredients are pretty simple; I only had to pick up two things. The first was frozen wild blueberries – this is what the recipe called for, but I bet these scones would be AMAZING with some fresh Pemberton blueberries in the summer. The second ingredient was cream of tartar, an ingredient I rarely use and did not have on hand. A tiny box cost a whopping $8.99, which was a tough pill to swallow, especially since the recipe only calls for a quarter teaspoon. So now I have an almost full box of cream of tartar. I’m going to have to find some more recipes that call for it.
[Note: I can’t find this recipe online. I’ve found versions that use vanilla and buttercream, but the recipe in the book calls for neither.]
One more note before we dive in: I decided to get fancy with this baking recap. I asked Cedric to take photos as I went along. Now, Cedric normally takes photos like this:
But he was a good sport and agreed. It helps that he gets paid in pastries.
Okay, the recipe starts off simply enough, but I must admit that I took some liberties right off the bat. Step two says to “blend the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter”. I don’t own a pastry cutter, but I do own hands, so that’s what I used to mix it all together. I once read somewhere that it’s not a good idea to buy a kitchen tool that only does one thing. I kind of like that. I don’t have a lemon squeezer or a garlic mincer or a potato masher (although I could probably actually use one of those) or a pastry cutter.
I may have overworked the dough in step four, despite the warning not to overwork the dough. The Bobbette & Belle photo shows a pretty clean looking white pastry, whereas mine was streaked aggressively with purple from the blueberries.
However, I bet you the Bobbette & Belle people used food stylists and stuff to make their scones look so good. This is something I thought about frequently while Cedric was photographing the process – it was hard to make it all look good. Can you imagine working on the set of a photo shoot for the Martha Stewart magazine? Actually, I think that would be an awesome job.
Step 5 ends with, “sprinkle with coarse sugar”. I’m not sure there is anywhere to get coarse sugar in Squamish. I used regular sugar.
I popped the scones in the oven and started working on the clotted cream. Originally, I wasn’t going to make the clotted cream. First of all, it sounds gross – clotting makes me think of blood. I also hate the term “lemon curd”. But Cedric thought the clotted cream was an essential component of the recipe, and I did have some 35% cream on hand. Plus, in the cinnamon pull-apart bread post, I said that one can only really judge a recipe if one makes all of its components. So I pulled out the stand mixer and got ready to mix.
WAIT – clotted cream does not call for a stand mixer! Clotted cream is made by bringing whipped cream to a boil, then letting it simmer for 45 minutes. Then you have to put it in the fridge for FOUR HOURS. Who knew!
See, here’s the problem:
- The scones take 30 minutes to bake.
- They probably take another 30 to cool.
- The clotted cream takes 45+ minutes to make.
- The clotted cream takes 4 hours to cool in the fridge.
These timelines do not align and I did not have the foresight to make the clotted cream four hours prior. So I took a shortcut and I popped the clotted cream in the freezer for half an hour or so, swishing it around every now and then.
It obviously was not ready when it came time to sample the goods, but it didn’t matter.
Ready for the verdict?
These scones were good. As in, they were good – for scones. But I’m still not a scone person. They’re not sweet enough! Even the clotted cream severely lacks sweetness!
Now Cedric, on the other hand, LOVED them. He does not share my sweet tooth; he thinks blueberry scones and clotted cream are just the right of sweetness.
Still, it’s not like I didn’t like them – I did go back for another the next day. By now, the clotted cream had been sitting in the fridge for well over four hours. I was ready to see how it turned out.
The cream turned out kind of gross. It’s hard to describe the texture – almost elastic. It wasn’t light and fluffy like whipped cream – and I get that it isn’t whipped cream, but the cream in the B&B photo just looks much airier. Cedric said that it was the normal texture for clotted cream, but agreed it had been better when we had it the day before in its more liquid state.
I don’t know. Maybe putting it in the freezer caused some kind of chemical reaction that compromised its integrity. Probably.
So the blueberry scones get a solid “good” rating from me – but I wouldn’t make the clotted cream again. Instead, I’d serve it with some blueberry jam from my beloved jam lady at the farmer’s market.