I know. It’s the last work day for many before Memorial Day. What I should be posting is something grilled, something smokey, something messy. Memorial Day is for drinking cans of beer around the grill. It’s for the first picnic and the first mosquito bites of the year. It’s for paper plates and for smelling like campfire. And instead I’m posting some very staid, very proper, very British scones.
To be fair, I’ve never really felt the need for Memorial Day recipes. I leave the grilling to someone else, and generally bring a salad and/or dessert. Maybe you’re the same. But I am always here for scones.
The summer before we left for England Aaron came over to my parent’s house and we made scones together. I’ve since lost the recipe, but it was in metric measurement and I had badly translated it to imperial measurements. It was hot in the kitchen and the butter was not cold. We (mostly me) made a terrific mess. The scones turned out crumbly and lumpy but somehow still tasty.
In England we ate scones mostly in tea rooms. Most of them were cramped, old-fashioned places where we would duck into for a pick me up while traveling. They were uniformly good- a pot of milky tea and a cream scone is an excellent fortifier for the broke and slightly lost traveler. The china inevitably was flowered and the tables tended to be draped in pink and there would be a clatter of accents filling the air. They were relaxing places where despite our massive backpacks we would not feel like tourists for a little bit.
When I miss England I sometimes bake scones. These scones wouldn’t be found in tea rooms. They’re a bit more modern than that, a bit brighter. They have spelt flour for a bit of heft, crystalized ginger for a treat, lemon zest for brightness, and blueberries for a summery celebration of my homeland. You could happily drink them with a pot of milky tea, but they also paired fantastically with my green tea this morning. It’s been wet and rainy here recently, which is surely why England’s on my mind. I’d advise you to make these soon, before it becomes too hot to turn on the oven, and thoughts of England have turned to Pim’s cups.
Spelt- Blueberry Scones
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
If you wanted a more traditional blueberry scone it would be easy to use 2 cups of all-purpose flour and omit the crystalized ginger. If you do go that route, I would start checking the scones at 12 minutes.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup diced crystalized ginger.
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons butter, frozen
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup blueberries
Preheat the oven to 425.
In a large bowl whisk together the flours, crystalized ginger, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Use your fingers to break make sure the ginger and lemon zest are well-distributed and not sticking together. Using a cheese grater, grate the frozen butter directly into the flour mixture. Mix well. Pour over the cream and add in the blueberries. Using a rubber spatula stir until the cream is evenly distributed.
Turn out onto a clean surface. Pat the dough into an even circle. Slice the circle half, then quarters, and then into eight even pieces. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake the scones until they are firm to the touch and the edges are starting to get a bit of color, 15-17 minutes. Cool and serve.