Sometimes I feel the need to bake, but the thought of walking across the street to the grocery store is just too much to handle. Yup, I can be very lazy, but that laziness can sometimes lead to something great.
Take these strawberry-rhubarb scones. They were born out of sheer laziness but quickly became a springy delight, perfect for Memorial day. I picked up a bunch of rhubarb at the farmer’s market on Wednesday without knowing what to do with it. By Thursday night I was in the mood for some baked goods, namely muffins. So I thought “how about using the rhubarb to make muffins?”
Good thought, right? Well it would have been if I’d had eggs, an essential ingredient in muffins. That dilemma got me thinking about what else I could make with rhubarb using only ingredients I had on hand.
A search of Epicurious.com lead me to a recipe for rhubarb and raspberry jam roly-poly. I had no idea what a roly-poly was but quickly learned it’s similar to a scone. Hmmm… scones… interesting…
The recipe you see here is based on the roly-poly recipe but tweaked quite a bit. For instance, I used half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose to make the scones a bit more nutritious (I cut the amount of butter a little for the same reason). I also added 1/2 cup of diced strawberries instead of raspberry jam to the compote, part of which is mixed in with the dry ingredients; the rest is saved for topping the cooked scones.
There are quite a few more tweaks, but by this point I think you get the picture. Here’s the recipe:
Strawberry-Rhubarb Scones, makes 14
2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb (about 12 ounces or 6 stalks)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup diced strawberries (abut 4 medium)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
Combine the rhubarb, sugar, water and lemon zest in a saucepan set over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the rhubarb has slightly softened and begun to release water, about 5 minutes. Stir in the strawberries and increase the heat to medium. Continue cooking until the rhubarb is very soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and 1 teaspoon water. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the simmering compote and stir until the juices have thickened. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the compote into a bowl. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 1 hour.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, diced
2/3 cup chilled strawberry-rhubarb compote
1 tablespoon chilled buttermilk
Crème fraîche (garnish)
Combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle the chilled pieces of butter over the top. Using just your fingertips, blend the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Work quickly and do not let the butter become warm or melt!
Gently fold in the chilled compote and buttermilk. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Lightly sprinkle flour on a work surface. Place the dough on top and gently pat it into a large rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Use a two-inch round cookie cutter to form the scones; reassemble leftover dough until all is used but be careful not to overwork it. Arrange the scones on the baking sheet.
Bake until the scones are set and lightly browned on the bottom, about 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the scones sit for 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack.
Serve slighlty warm with 1 teaspoon leftover compote and a dollop of crème fraîche.