Friday, June 19, 2009

Blueberry Cream Cheese Scones

Last weekend my bff, Kathy W, introduced me to the scrumptious blueberry cream cheese scones that are sold at Diamond Head Market. She is my hero.
Go forward one week and a quick glance at my Cook's Illustrated podcasts which revealed the best way to make blueberry scones. Alas, you can watch the video on how to best make it but you have to sign up (a.k.a. pay money) for access to their recipes. So I did what I always do when I am yearning for answers: GOOGLE! and voila. The entire recipe found online on the Wine Guy World blog. Lucky me! So along with the video (download the Cook's Illustrated podcasts on iTunes), the recipe and an idea of how to get the cream cheese in there, I gave it a shot.
The few modifications I made was that I ended up grating the frozen butter (one stick of salted since I didn't have unsalted) in my food processor. I did it with a hand grater the first night I made it but it wasn't fun. Not hard but not fun. It worked in a couple seconds with the food processor (grater attachment).
For the cream cheese, I mixed about 4 oz. of cream cheese and 2 tablespoons sugar. Then I flattened out the cream cheese on a plate and stuck it in the freezer. After adding the blueberries to the dough, I then took out the cream cheese, cut it into small chunks with my dough scraper, and pressed pieces between blueberries.
Hope you enjoy the pics. Believe me, the scones are among the best ever. I recall hearing comments like, "These are restaurant quality...you could sell them". Kika, my food critic, said they were like at least a 9. I think that's good. Wait. She said they were a 10. If she didn't consider Diamond Head a definite 10. Damn. I gotta work on it some more.


Blueberry Scones
from Cook's Illustrated

It is important to work the dough as little as possible—work quickly and knead and fold the dough only the number of times called for. The butter should be frozen solid before grating. In hot or humid environments, chill the flour mixture and workbowls before use. While the recipe calls for 2 whole sticks of butter, only 10 tablespoons are actually used (see step 1). If fresh berries are unavailable, an equal amount of frozen berries (do not defrost) can be substituted. An equal amount of raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries can be used in place of the blueberries. Cut larger berries into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces before incorporating. Refrigerate or freeze leftover scones, wrapped in foil, in an airtight container. To serve, remove foil and place scones on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven. Heat until warmed through and recrisped, 8 to 10 minutes if refrigerated, 16 to 20 minutes if frozen. See final step for information on making the scone dough in advance.

INGREDIENTS
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), frozen whole (see note above)
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (about 7 1/2 ounces), picked over (see note)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for work surface
1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 

4 oz cream cheese, plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining ungrated butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 tablespoons butter for another use. Place blueberries in freezer until needed.
2. Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
4. Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Following illustrations, fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.
5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Add chunks of frozen cream cheese next to blueberries. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
To Make Ahead:
After placing the scones on the baking sheet, either refrigerate them overnight or freeze. When ready to bake, for refrigerated scones, heat oven to 425 degrees and follow directions in step 6. For frozen scones, heat oven to 375 degrees, follow directions in step 6, and extend cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes.

(now if anyone has tips on how to manipulate my pictures I would really appreciate it)