Blueberry Orange Scones
Nighttime dreams are fragile. If we allow our minds to revisit them too often, or cling too tightly to their ambiance - they eventually disintegrate like ancient papyrus. Sometimes, if we're lucky, a few are potent enough to leave a soft aura that follows us around all day - a warm, cosy memory that we can run to when reality becomes messy and the afternoon feels uneven.
I had the best dream last night. I hope its nourishing milky images will last throughout the evening. I won't go into intricate detail - as with most dreams it was deeply personal and it would not make sense to anyone outside my silly head. It involved the one who got away. The blue eyes from that day, a little over 10 years ago now, were present. He and I were so happy. Silently happy in a noisy room full of strangers, and so at ease in our silence, as though we had known each other in several lifetimes. And for once...for once I was not afraid of happiness. I didn't feel that anxious bird flying around my rib cage, and the cadet-grey sadness, the one that's almost always in my peripheral vision, was nonexistent. If only reality, with its sharp edges and garish light, could retain such a soft cadence. For a moment, which seemed like a dazzling mere three minutes, the universe itself was purring.
This morning I cocooned myself inside the smoky remnants of my dream and savoured as much hazy bliss as possible. My early companions, aside from Niles (the portly cat), were a strong cup of creamy coffee and a tender scone. With an early chill in the air, I spent the better half of the morning reliving something I'd never actually live through with someone I'd never officially met (yet?). It was lovely.
If you still have access to fresh blueberries, I implore you to make this easy peasy recipe, please!
Whenever I make scones I assume they're going to be on the dry, cakey, bland, side of pastry spectrum. (When will I learn?) These scones, along with the small handful of other scones I've made over the years, are soft, fluffy, and bursting with flavour. Orange zest is rubbed into the sugar, giving the scones a bright, floral undertone - feel free to sneak in some lime or lemon zest instead.
If you have a tight rein on self-control, the scones are even better on day two - as long as they're stored in an airtight container. By day two the flavours are more lush and vibrant - and the texture is even softer. Also, please don't feel as though you need to make the drizzle. It's not necessary - I just wanted to jazz up the photos a little bit. :)
Sweetest of dreams, everyone. xo
Blueberry Orange Scones
makes about 18 small scones
for the scones
6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
grated zest from one orange (about 2 Tablespoons)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup half & half cream
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries (about 1 pint)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2-3 teaspoons orange juice
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until moist and fragrant. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the cold cubes of butter and use a pastry cutter (or two knives) to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly - it should resemble coarse cornmeal. Set the bowl aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and almond extract.
Make a well in the center of dry ingredients - pour in the cream/egg mixture. Use a large rubber spatula to fold/stir everything together until just combined (try not to overmix). Add the blueberries and carefully fold them into the dough.
Generously flour a work surface. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a thick circle - about 7-inches in diameter. Use a sharp knife to slice each circle into eighths (pie-shaped slices). Place each slice onto prepared baking sheet - allowing for about 1 1/2-inches of space between each scone.
Brush the scones with the beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake 18-20 minutes or until scones are light golden. Remove the sheet from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Cool for about 5 minutes before removing the scones.
For the drizzle: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and 2 teaspoons of orange juice until smooth. If the drizzle looks too thick, add another teaspoon of orange juice - if it looks too thin, add another Tablespoon of confectioners' sugar. Use a small whisk or the tines of a fork to drizzle over the cooled scones.
adapted from use real butter