Monday, June 25, 2012

Peach Cobbler Scones

I love to read other food blogs and I've noted a few of my favorites on my blog.  Recently Joy the Baker posted a great peach scone recipe, which had me tasting fresh peaches as I read it.  There is nothing like a juicy, ripe peach and this morning I made a mad dash to the local green market  near my home to search for some great peaches.   I obviously succeeded as you will note from the picture above.   This is a simple recipe.  You don't need to lug out the mixer or other "kitchen equipment."  All you need are some bowls, a large spoon and some baking sheets.  Like many of the recipes I post, I do like to make some tweaks and here I used both All Purpose and Whole Wheat Flour  (2 cups AP and 1 cup Whole Wheat).  When it comes to the fruit, I did stick with peaches but any other stone fruit such as nectarines, plums or apricots would be just as good.  You can even use different berries. Give this recipe a try, I don't think you'll be disappointed.  The scones are best when served warm with some butter or additional fruit preserve.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, also cold and cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ripe peach, thinly sliced
1/4 cup buttermilk, for brushing
2 tbs granulated sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400* and place the oven racks in the center and on the top.  Line two baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside.

In the bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
 Cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Use your hands the break up the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients.  The bits of butter and shortening should be the size of peas and flakes.
In a small bowl, add the beaten egg, the buttermilk and vanilla and mix with a fork.  Add the liquid to the flour-butter-shortening mixture all at once and stir to combine making a soft dough.  Turn dough onto a floured board or counter and kneed about 15x. [If the butter is too warm or soft, put the dough into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.] Shape the dough into a disk and roll out to less than 1/2 inch thick.  The dough should be a bit thinner than biscuit dough.
Brush half of the rolled dough with buttermilk and arrange the peach slices in a single layer, across the buttermilk side of the dough.  Spinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Carefully fold the "dry" half of the dough over the peaches and press the edges of the dough in, creating a rectangle shape.  Using the floured knife, slice dough into eight even pieces.  Place the dough on the prepared baking sheets, leaving room between each scone. [If the dough has become warm or feels mushy, place the baking sheets in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
  Brush each scone top with buttermilk, and sprinkly with remaining cinnamon sugar.  Bake the scone for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.  Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before serving.