Berry Scones

Scones have become massive in Sweden in recent years.  I think they’ve come to stand not just for all things quaint and English, but for an easy, quick shortcut to wholesome domesticity.  You can, after all, throw them together in about half an hour.  But whereas over here there seems to be very little deviation from the classic recipe (apart from a debate about self raising vs plain flour and bicarb),  a quick search on google.se reveals a plethora of varieties.  There are plenty of takes on the chocolate scone, as well as combinations like olive and sun-dried tomato, chili and Parmesan and even the (very Swedish) cardamon.  And on www.scones.se you can find recipes using flours ranging from rye to spelt and everything in between. 

I’m more of a purist so my recipe is pretty square, although it is nice to have a bit of variety on occasion.  The following recipe is the mildest of twists on the classic with roast berries lightly dotted through the dough in quite a subtle, but pleasantly surprising way.  And because scones are normally served with berry-based jams anyway, the combination of soft, sweet fruit and fluffy scone feels pretty natural. 

I roast the berries first to dry them out a little and intensify the flavour and then serve them with soured cream or Greek yogurt, for a bit of sour kick.  However, there is of course nothing at all to stop you lashing on the clotted cream.  And because the sweetness from the fruit is already there, you could even forgo the jam and save yourself getting involved in an argument over what accompaniment is spread on top first. 

Strawberry and Blueberry Scones
You will need:
225g/8oz self raising flour
pinch of salt
55g butter (very cold)
25g caster sugar 
150ml milk
1 free-range egg
Berries- I used strawberries and blueberries (a large punnet’s worth, basically)

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Slice the larger berries and lay onto a lined baking tray.

2. Bake the berries in the oven, until dried out and beginning to crisp- about 15-20 minutes.  But keep an eye on them!  They burn quickly.

3. Meanwhile, put the flour and salt in a large bowl and rub in the butter.

4. Stir in the sugar and milk.

5.  Once the berries are done, take them out of the oven and turn up the heat to 220 degrees C.  Leave to cool slightly before adding to the dough.   Gently combine to evenly distribute.

 6.  Knead the dough on a (very) floured work surface- it will be a pretty sticky dough, but you can add more flour if it is totally unworkable.

7.  Roll out the dough into a circular shape, about 2cm thick.  Cut out pie-shaped triangles, you should be able to get about 8 out of it.

8.  Brush the triangles with the beaten egg or milk if you prefer, to give them a nice sheen. Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden.

9.  Leave to cool slightly before tucking in.

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