Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sweet Cream Red Huckleberry Scones

I was in baking mode this Saturday. Hubby had put in a nice pork picnic for the afternoon, so I figured I’d use the hot oven when the picnic came out to make some scones. I also noticed while poking about the garden on Friday that some of the wild huckleberry bushes with their dainty little leaves have some ripened berries on them; little explosions of bright red among the mottled greens of this lush, leafy place where we live. At the rate they were being gobbled up by local wildlife, I decided I ought to go and grab some off the branches before they’re all gone.

I managed to reap a heaping half-cup of berries from my foraging efforts. They are tart little guys, with a strong berry punch. I think they’ll do nicely baked; at least I hope. ::smirk::

So here goes; I’m using my modified cream scone recipe; substituting one cup of the two cups of all-purpose flour with wheat flour. Yes, it’s another experiment. They could be melting clouds of huckleberry yumminess, or they could be hockey-pucks of doughy despair. Let’s go on with the recipe, shall we?

The Recipe:

Dry ingredients:
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 cup wheat flour
* ¼ cup granulated white sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* ¼ teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
* 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into little cubes
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* ½ cup of heavy whipping cream or milk
* ½ cup of freshly picked Mount Hood Red Huckleberries. :)

So I combine the dry ingredients. It’s a leap of faith. The wheat flour makes it seem darker; gives it an ecru colour. As I add in the diced butter to the mixing bowl, and then the cream, vanilla and the egg, it crumbles into a coarse crumb texture as it is supposed to. In the last moment, I add my huckleberries. I hear a few of them pop.

I flour my little butcher-block island and rolling pin, and dump out the dough after pressing it into a ball. More berries pop. I roll it out to 1" thick (I think thicker next time)... the rolling causes more pops. I use a wobbly shaped cookie cutter to render myself ten fine small scones, which I arrange on my silpat for baking. My hubby has just removed the pork picnic; and it is delicious smelling and falling off the bone. The whole house smells so good.

A quick brush of whipping cream to glaze each scone, and pop, into the oven they go at 375º.
I don’t have clotted cream nor do I feel inclined to drive all the way to Portland to find some, but I do have a lot of whipping cream left. So I’ll whip up some cream for my consumption. Here’s a quick how-to movie to whip cream.

I keep it less complicated than the movie. I wash out my mixing bowl and the balloon whisk and pop them into the freezer for a few minutes. When they’d chilled, I pop them onto my KitchenAid, and pour in the cream, I set it on a medium speed; it starts to thicken very quickly—I slowly increase the speed. I use a regular tablespoon to pour sugar in at the edge of the bowl after the texture starts to appear cloud-like and billowy, but not quite stiff. I pour in two light tablespoons (slowly), tasting it as I go. When it’s whipped to stiff peaks, it’s ready. I pop it into the fridge to fix the whip into place. And that’s it.

Oh my… these are good. Crispy exterior, soft, moist interior, a tart bite of berry every mouthful; softened and complemented by the fluffy cloud of whipped cream and sweetened by the dollop of strawberry jam. A heavenly treat and a delicious dessert. I wonder if these would work as bases for a lovely strawberry shortcake.

I can’t see why not.
Nummy! I think I’ll have another.


Cheyenne said...

Thank you for the compliment--it went over very well with the children, lol. I too am a rabid Jane Austen fan. From the looks of your blog you are totally multi-faceted.:)

I heart your huckleberries!

The Hungarican Chick said...

Why thank you. ;)

Naomi said...

This is a great blog post. I just picked a handful of red huckleberrys two days ago. I used them in huckleberry pancakes.

Anonymous said...

Hi there :)

I'm interested in trying out your creation. Would you mind telling how long you kept the scones in the oven at 375F?


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