August 22, 2010

Fresh from the orchard scones!

I loved baking as a child. My fascination began with taking a paper plate full of vanilla wafers, covering them in Hershey's syrup and sprinkling on rainbow sprinkles. Over the years I progressed to homemade cookies, cakes, brownies, bars, you name it. But over the past few years, I've really lost interest in baking, and the only time I really tend to bake anything is either for our annual cookie swap at work or to use up over-ripe fruits. In other words, we end up with a LOT of banana bread in our house.

Today though, we were fortunate to have a rainy, dreary day and I wanted to really play around and come up with a recipe that could be my own in the baking world.

My muffin tins are packed, so that was out. I make enough quick breads as it is. I don't love coffee cakes, so I was left with the one thing I do love - Scones!

I used my basic scone recipe (mind you I've never used it at all!) and I played around with consistency and texture once I tweaked it.

In the end, I needed to use up two over-ripe peaches and 4 bananas. The mashed banana and diced and peeled peaches and diced peaches yielded me about 2 cups of fruit to add to the recipe.

So I played and played and came out with something that is really INCREDIBLY delicious, light, delicate, sweet, flavorful and just a great play on summer flavors. My hubs, who doesn't even really like baked goods, has already eaten 2 since they came out of the oven! OK I won't lie - I have too!

Now the recipe as I made it, I doubled - but I'll write it here as a single recipe.

Banana Peach Scones

2 Cups flour + 1/2 - 1 cup later
3 T plus 2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1 tsp. later
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cold butter cut in small cubes - 1 stick
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg separated
2 bananas mashed and 1 baseball sized peach peeled, pitted and diced

Preheat your oven to 375. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 3 T sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder cinnamon and salt. Whisk together to combine. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.

In a measuring cup, combine the milk, vanilla and egg yolk until blended. Make a well in the center of your flour mixture and pour in the milk and stir until just combined.

Now add in your fruit mixture. Stir until a stretchy dough forms. At this point, sprinkle in another few T of flour at a time until the dough is less sticky and able to be formed in to a ball.

Coat your counter with flour and pour out your dough. At this point sprinkle on more flour and keep folding/kneading in flour until you get a workable dough. Add another 1 teaspoon of baking powder at this time as well to ensure your mixture will rise enough later. Keep kneading until mixture doesn't stick easily to the counter and your can form the dough in to a large flat circle - about an 1/2 - 1 inch thick.

Using a pizza cutter coated in flour, cut your dough in to 8 pieces. You can also cut in to smaller squares if you want smaller scones.

Place pieces of scone on a sprayed or lined baking sheet and brush egg white on each piece - sprinkle with the remaining sugar and bake for 22-25 minutes. Let cook on rack and enjoy!!

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