I recently had a conversation with another Northwesterner who has relocated to Nashville regarding biscuits. She was talking about how Northwesterners just can’t make biscuits properly, they always turn out more like scones. I began to think about this and it occurred to me that Southerners never seem to make proper scones either. More times than not, Southern scones end up resembling biscuits. I remember when I first moved from the South to Seattle, one of my favorite food discoveries was scones for breakfast. Every coffee shop and bakery had them and they were like nothing I had ever had back home. They were dense and packed full of grains and fruit. It was the perfect accompaniment to a big latte. I had a housemate back then who used to make scones every once in a while and he made them perfectly and effortlessly. I used to bring home scones for my family on my first few visits back which, I think, inspired my Mom to start making scones. Her favorites are apricot oatmeal scones which is a delicious combination in my opinion. I was recently given Molly Wizenberg’s book, A Homemade Life. (Thanks Bray!) I’ve followed her blog, off and on, for awhile now. Her writing is very comforting and easy to read. She is from Oklahoma, spent time in Paris, but now lives in Seattle. She has a recipe in her book for Scottish scones. Once I read it, I immediately craved scones so the next morning, I came up with this variation on her recipe. These remind me of the great Pacific Northwest and are perfect with coffee on a lazy weekend morning.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour (I use White Lily)
3 Tbsp cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
a few fresh berries (if unavailable, frozen will do)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Using your hands, slowly and gently mix the butter into the flour mixture, pinching with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and there are no lumps larger than a pea. Mix the buttermilk with the egg and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir gently to combine. Using your hands, press the dough into a mass. Turn the dough onto a dough board. Gently add berries into the dough. Form dough into a round disk about 2” high. Cut into pieces, like a pie. I like to make 6 larger ones but you could also cut into smaller triangles. Bake 10-14 minutes. Allow a few minutes to cool on a wire rack. Scones are best when eaten right away but if you have some left, store in an airtight container and I would advise reheating before serving leftovers.