I’ve been trying to cut back on sugar lately (it’s not working but I’m trying). My weakness is baked goods; a biscotti with my latte; a muffin for breakfast; a gigantic piece of mocha ice cream pie drizzled with caramel after drinks…
So I spent some time thinking about what could satisfy my cravings but still keep my blood sugar steady. At first I thought it was hopeless, but then it hit me; scones! I love scones, their slightly crumbly yet somehow buttery texture goes perfectly with a nice cup of tea. The fresh blueberry in these add some moisture.
Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
Yields 12 scones.
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 egg
- Whisk together flours, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Add butter. Using your finger tips or a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour mixture until it has a crumbly texture.
- Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until the dough just comes together.
- Mix in blueberries gently.
- Using your hands, make a large ball with the dough, then roll it out until it’s about an inch thick.
- Using a round cookie cutter that has been floured, cut the dough into rounds and place on a baking sheet.
- Whisk the egg yolk and brush on scones.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 425 for 12 to 15 minutes.
August 15th was Julia Child’s birthday. Many of us grew up watching her shows, moved by her enthusiasm for food and the joy teaching people to cook brought her. The Way To Cook is my mothers go to cookbook even now, over 20 years after it was published. We watched her cooking on her own in Dinner at Julia’s, we saw her marvel at dishes created by others in Cooking with Master Chefs, and we saw her tease and joke with Jacques Pepin in Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home (Jacques is another go to at my parents house).
In honour of her birthday I made a recipe from Baking with Julia ; the tart that made Julia cry. The recipe is actually a Nancy Silverton recipe, and you can watch them make it here. The tart really is wonderful, I can understand how a bite of it could bring tears of joy to Julia’s eyes.
Brioche Custard Tart
- 1/3 of dough from Golden Brioche
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 nectarines, sliced
- 1/2 cup strawberries
- 2 cups white wine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 or 6 basil leaves
- After chilling the brioche dough overnight, roll it out to fit in a pie plate, with about an inch of dough overhanging. Fold the overhang into the pie shell to create an edge. Let rise uncovered for 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising, whisk the cream and egg yolks together.
- Once the dough has risen, dimple the bottom of the dough (don’t create holes, just dents) and pour the cream mixture in.
- Sprinkle the cream with sugar.
- Preheat the oven to 300, then bake the tart for 30 to 40 minutes until brioche is cooked and custard has set.
- Let cool completely.
- While the tart is cooling bring the wine to a boil. Add the sugar and basil leaves. Add the fruit and simmer for a few minutes, just until the fruit is slightly softened. Strain fruit.
- Place fruit on tart.
What did I do this weekend? Not much. Watched some TV, napped a little. I would have read something, but I am currently out of books (anyone have any recommendations?) Oh, and I made bread. Brioche, actually. This was my second attempt at making brioche. The first attempt almost lead me to tears of frustration, but Janice’s recent bread success inspired me to try again.
I am so glad I did. This time I used Bon Appétit’s Golden Brioche recipe. I was careful to follow each step exactly as written. I was strangely fascinated watching the butter incorporate into the dough, and at one point could even smell the butter as the mixer worked its magic. Once all the mixing and kneading was done, I waited impatiently for the dough to rise. Then I had the satisfaction of punching it down so it could rise all over. This was followed by the tough part: chilling overnight.
Sunday morning I woke up separated the dough into three equal parts. One part became a loaf, another buns, and the third will get a post all its own soon. I was hoping the loaf would rise a little more, but I am very pleased with the result. It’s wonderful with a little cream cheese and raspberry jam.
Bon Appétit’s instructions are very thorough, so rather than rewriting the recipe in my own words and missing some important step, I’ll just direct you to their recipe. I will say that the rolls were done in about 15 minutes, as the recipe only provides baking times for the loaves.