This last Sunday was the second week of the farmers market here in Omaha and it was a gorgeous day. Just a week ago, the sky was overcast and there was a biting wind slapping us in the face. Not a fun trip to the market at all. The start of the farmers market always gets me excited because it signifies the beginning of strawberry season. In fact, my strawberries in the garden are starting to flower as I type this…
Now, we didn’t see any this last Sunday, but it’s okay, as I had picked up a container of organic strawberries from Whole Foods. They were plump and flavorful, and I knew I wanted to make scones with them. Luckily, one of my favorite websites, The Kitchn, had the same idea!
These scones were destined for dessert, but of course would be great as a breakfast or brunch item. You could even substitute different fresh fruits for the strawberries. I think they would be lovely with fresh blueberries, chopped fresh peaches, or even fresh apricots.
Scones are probably some of the easiest baked goods to make. If you consider yourself kitchen-challenged, scones are definitely do-able.
The recipe from The Kitchn calls for sour cream, but I prefer to bake with crème fraîche when given the option. If you can’t find crème fraîche, just use full-fat sour cream. Both offer a nice tangy bite to baked goods.
The trick to successful scones is using cold butter and not working the dough too much. This recipe also calls for some wait time in the fridge prior to baking. It’s an essential step, as it makes cutting the dough much easier and helps keep the butter cold.
The brown sugar crumble is a lovely addition to the scones. When baked, it turns a deep brown color and the crunchy texture is perfect. However, if you’re not into the idea of a crumble, I’m sure a sweetened glaze or even sweetened whipped cream would pair well.
Strawberry and Crème Fraîche Scones with Brown Sugar Crumble
Adapted from The Kitchn
For the scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup crème fraîche
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup roughly chopped fresh strawberries
For the crumble:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Dice the butter into small cubes and toss with the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter (or fork), work the butter into the flour until it looks like coarse bread crumbs.
Whisk together the crème fraîche, egg, and vanilla in a small bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the crème fraîche mixture into the well. Using a stiff spatula, mix and fold the ingredients together. Be gentle and don’t overwork the dough.
When most of the flour has been incorporated, turn the dough out onto a clean surface. Pat into a wide rectangle and sprinkle half of the strawberries over half of the dough. Using a bench scraper or large spatula, fold the dough over onto itself and pat again into a wide rectangle.
Sprinkle the remaining strawberries over half of the dough and fold it over itself again. Fold it once or twice more to work in the strawberries, being as gentle as possible. If any strawberries fall out, press into the top.
Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Shape it into a disk roughly 1-inch thick.
Place in refrigerator for at least an hour (or cover and refrigerate overnight).
A half hour before baking, heat the oven to 400ºF. Combine flour, brown sugar, and salt for the topping, and then work in the butter using a fork until it becomes a smooth paste (it’ll look like sand).
Remove scones from the refrigerator. Crumble the topping evenly over the surface of the scones. Using a bench scraper, pizza wheel, or large knife, slice the disk into 8 equal-sized wedges. Reposition the wedges on the baking sheet to put a few inches of space between each scone.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until scones are firm on the sides and golden-brown on the top. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.