Baskets of rubies everywhere. Pregnant with red juices and bursting at the seams with sweetish-tart flavors, strawberries and raspberries with their knobby and fuzzy-haired skins are the go-to picks for all kinds of meals anytime of the year. In the summer, hand-picked fresh berries jiggle their way through cereal bowls in the mornings, salads during lunch hour and cool desserts at suppertime. They could well do a similar song and dance during the rest of the year too, sometimes fresh, and at other, frozen. But it’s the summer rain that brings out the best in them. Just as mesmerizing as a downpour in the heart of the summer are the warm berry desserts, with their condensed juices jamming onto buttery, brittle pastry walls and mounds of sweetened rice. The very thought of these desserts brings forth a deluge of ethereal imagery. Somewhere a wet skirt flaps against hay-filed ankles as raindrops turn a brazen pink while trickling down over a bunch of berries carried by wet hands. Elsewhere, an apron gets a smudge of red on the side, seeping into the fabric and blotting an amorphous bloody map while the wearer, oblivious to it, sticks her mitten-safe hands in the oven to retrieve her prized creations, inhaling the sweet scents of success and rain. In another kitchen, the smells of ghee, long-grained rice and pureed berries mix and mingle in a chipper combination, while the orderly freakish cook lines up bowls and spoons on the counter at equidistant intervals, keeping the sounds of thunder and pattering drops from interfering with her perfectly co-ordinated movements..
Before we get completely lost in our berry-induced imagery trance, allow us to present to you the first treat in our Berry Blast series, Ruby Raspberry Scones.
(Makes 8 scones)
½ Cup yoghurt
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
½ Cup sugar
1 Teaspoon baking powder
½ Teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/3 Cup chocolate chips
1 Cup raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Crack the egg into the yoghurt container, add the vanilla and lightly whip them up together. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into pieces and toss them in. Pulse a few times until the butter is distributed into the flour. Turn the mixture into a large bowl, make a well in the centre. Add the liquids and mix gently until just incorporated. Fold in the berries and chocolate chips Divide into 8 parts and drop into a parchment-lined baking sheet, or pat the dough into a circle, cut into 8 wedges and place them on the sheet. Brush the tops with some cream to help brown the top, or add a sprinkle of sugar.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into a scone comes out clean. Serve warm, or cool completely and freeze for another day.
Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking
Our scones are being shared with –