Thursday, February 24, 2011

Peach Jam Scones: Simply Fantastic!

These are the best scones ever, well the blueberry scones are the best ever too, but these are different. They are more like a pastry. Not so much crispy on the outside as all the other scones I have baked. They are soft and fluffy all over. The jam and peaches are folded in the dough and the dough is incredible, well how could it not be with 6 cups of four and 3 sticks of butter! This recipe makes a lot of scones so if you don't have company coming over, you might want to freeze a few unbaked scones for later use. I froze 1/3 of the dough in a ziploc bag and 4 of the unbaked scones. If freezing ahead of time, flash freeze on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then wrap individually in foil. 

6 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled in the freezer overnight
1.5 – 2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup high quality peach jam
3 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted & sliced

Grate the butter on the large holes of a grater, and place in the freezer until ready to use.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the grated butter. Incorporate with your hands or with a pastry cutter. (You want to use your hands lightly to keep from over working the dough and handle it as little as possible so the butter doesn’t melt. )

Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk and continue to work the dough. If the dough has formed a ball, remove it onto a floured surface.  If not, add more buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to clump up and form a ball. (I ended up using 2 cups buttermilk total)

On a lightly floured surface, use your hands (or a rolling pin) to flatten the dough into a rectangle. Spread the jam all over the dough and arrange the peach slices over the jam, like this:

Roll the dough into a log (roll from the longest end). Flip the log seam side up. Press with your fingers to secure the edges. Pat down with your hands lightly so that it flattens a bit, but be careful not to squeeze the jam and peaches out. Cut the dough into 5-6 rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally into 2 triangles.  Brush each scone with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Preheat oven to 400. Bake on an baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 15 minutes, or until the scones are light golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 10-12 really large scones

Source: adapted from The Pastry Queen, by Rebecca Rather
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