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Nectarine Scones

Real life:

  I'll probably never have Allyson Felix's torso.
  I'll probably never compete in the Olympics.
  It's unlikely that I'll ever be rich (monetary-wise).
  Getting different skin and hair ain't gonna happen.   
  That $100 dress will never be bought.
  The boy next door knows too many (cute) girls.
  I'll never fully master heels.
  Makeup and I have a complicated relationship.
  Facebook is a total creeper resource for crushing adolescents and adults alike.

  Darn boy next door, darn non-athletic past, darn missed opportunities, darn facebook, darn homeschooling, darn public schooling, darn future, darn careers, darn it all.

  Uh...I feel like I was supposed to be leading up to some positive message about how scones heal all your hurts and solve your life's problems.  But instead, I got carried away in my pity list and scarfed down a high-calorie scone.

  That's real.

  Look...scones might help, but only you can turn your life around.

  Me?  I'm getting there.  Right now I need more scone time.

  You ever reach that rut?  You know...when your recent and not-so-recent failures all come together and decide to throw a morose party in your soul?

  Rest assured, I'm ok!  Or at least I will be.  Internal wars can't last forever, I plan on sending in the peace squad pretty soon.

  In the meantime, when I wake up from another restless and stress-filled dream, at least I have a fresh, warm scone to quiet the thudding in my ears.

  Love to you, reader!  Thanks for listening/reading.  I hope you have some nectarines on hand, because these babies aren't in season forever.  Who are you to make scones wait?

Nectarine Scones
Yield: 8 large or 10 medium scones

Ingredients for the scones:
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks (12 tbsp.) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
1-2 ripe nectarines, sliced thin

Ingredients for the cinnamon-sugar:
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Whisk briefly to blend.  Add the butter to the bowl and cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the largest butter pieces are the size of peas.  Stir in the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk and mix gently with a fork until a dough forms.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 15 times.  If the butter has warmed too much in the making of the dough, shape the batter into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.  If the butter is still cool, shape the dough into a disk and, on a well-floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12x10-inch rectangle.

Brush half of the dough lightly with buttermilk.  Lay the nectarine slices in a single layer over the buttermilk side of the dough.  Sprinkle the nectarines evenly with about half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Carefully fold the other side of the dough over the nectarines as if closing a book and press down gently.  Slice the dough into 8-10 equal sized pieces.*  Transfer to the prepared baking sheets.  Brush the top of each scone with buttermilk and sprinkle with additional cinnamon-sugar.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown and the scones are baked through, about 15-18 minutes.  Let cool 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool further.  Serve warm.

*At this point, you may flash freeze the shaped, unbaked scones on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes, or until firm.  Transfer to a freezer-safe container.  Bake as directed straight from the freezer, simply adding a few minutes to the baking time and checking for doneness.  

Sources: adapted from Annie's Eats and Joy the Baker