Found-Mulberry Scones

The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.

The Reason:

I like scones as much as the next guy, but I have to be honest: pastry blenders kind of scare me. Well, it’s not so much that they scare me, it’s just that nothing I do with a pastry blender seems to turn out right. Too complicated to chop butter, too bulky to use as brass knuckles. What’s a boy to do?

So when I came across this recipe that does not use butter, I knew it was a match made in heaven. (Before you get too excited, it more than makes up for that in heavy cream, so you’re not exactly getting away with anything) (Except using a pastry blender)

The Journey:

The recipe calls for strawberries, so we tried that first and it is as good as advertised. However, we have been making this recipe with any kind of fruit we can get our hands on, strawberries, blueberries, and even scavenged mulberries.

It turns out that Chicago is absolutely crawling with mulberries, if you know where to look. In fact, even if you don’t know where to look, you can’t help but stumble upon them. Literally! Because they make the most god-awful, bird-dropping-looking mess all over the sidewalk or your car if you are unlucky enough to park under one.

It turns out we have not one but TWO excellent locations for scavenging mulberries right next to our house; the sidewalk outside of the YMCA and the grass lot surrounding the abandoned fire station. And nobody seems to mind one bit if you steal them.

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Evie: “What does that sign say?”
Sara: “No trespassing, violators will be prosecuted.”

That’s right, ILLEGAL mulberries. That’s just how we roll around here. “Kids, it’s okay to ignore the law, as long as it results in delicious scones. Remember that.”

What a pain mulberries are! They are the most stain-y things on god’s green earth, and if you work with them you just have to commit to purple hands for the rest of the day. The first time I actually took all the little stems off, but I will never do THAT again, thank you very much. I couldn’t tell one bit of difference between the scones where I took them off and the ones where I didn’t. So there’s 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

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The Verdict:

I dare you to say to my face that you didn’t like these. Double-dog dare. We CAN NOT stop making them. They are a little moist and a little sweet and a lot wonderful. I would eat them every day. I would force my kids to illegally break and enter on public property to get at the ingredients if I had to.

And don’t forget the most important ingredient: a pinch of photobomb

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The Recipe:

Recipe (*very* slightly adapted) from West of the Loop.

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Zest of one orange (used a lemon in a pinch)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (or whatever)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with a parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add the orange zest and the sliced strawberries. Gently toss the strawberries until they are coated in flour.
  4. Pour the cream in all at once and stir with a fork until the dough comes together. It will be wet and sticky.
  5. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet with a large spoon, making eight (largish) scones.
  6. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. of Turbinado sugar on the top of each scone.
  7. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  8. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Whole Wheat Bacon-Fig Scones

The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.

The Reason:

Baconfest.

The Journey:

Okay, so I haven’t actually made this, which is a first for First Friday Food. So I can’t speak for how difficult it is to make, but I can speak for how awesome it is to eat!

The Verdict:

In a day of a lot of really good recipes, this one stood out to me as the best. The bacon really added something; it was neither extraneous nor overpowering. It is sweet, but not too sweet, and it goes perfect for breakfast. There wasn’t anybody who didn’t like this (even Evie!), in fact, I don’t think there was anybody who didn’t take seconds (or thirds, or in some cases fourths).

The Recipe:

Adapted from Smittenkitchen.com

Scones

  • 1 cup Whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried figs (rehydrated)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup (10 slices) cooked bacon (apple wood smoked)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Scones:

  1. Cook bacon until crispy. Chop into small pieces.
  2. Prepare figs by chopping them into small pieces (roughly the same size as your bacon pieces). Place the pieces into the bottom of a medium bowl . Cover the fig pieces in boiling water and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Strain fig pieces.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt together.
  6. Cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  7. Toss in the figs and bacon and mix.
  8. Add the ricotta and heavy cream together and stir them in to form a dough with a flexible spatula. Using your hands, gently knead dough into and even mass at the bottom of the bowl.
  9. Transfer the dough to a slightly floured counter. Lightly flour the top of the dough and pat it into a circle (about 7 in. in diameter) about 1 inch thick. With a large knife, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet with a spatula.
  10. Bake the scones for 15 mins, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool in a pan for a minute then transfer to a wire rack. Allow them to cool about 5 minutes before glazing.

Maple glaze:

  1. Combine the maple syrup and brown sugar. Lightly brushed over the baked scones.

Scones are best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on  them, you can make them, arrange them on the parchment-lined sheet and freeze them. If you are prepping just one day in advance, cover the tray with plastic wrap and bake them the day you need them. If you are prepping them more than one day in advance, once the scones are frozen, transfer the scones to a freezer bag or container. Bring them back to a parchment lined sheet when you are ready to bake them. Do not defrost, just throw the frozen scones in the oven and add 2-3 mins to the baking time.