Strawberry Conserve (generously fills one recipe of strawberry stuffed scones with extra to serve alongside)
⅔ cup granulated sugar
⅔ cup water
2 pints of fresh strawberries, lightly rinsed, hulled and halved (equals 4 generous cups)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the berries and return to a boil. It takes about 5-7 minutes for the berries to soften. Remove the pan from the heat. Using a potato masher, crush the berries. Set a small strainer over a bowl, strain the mashed berries, reserving the juice. Return the juice back to the saucepan, cooking over medium heat until it reduces to about ⅔ of a cup. The juice will become quite thick; this takes about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on things here- you may need to lower the heat. Remove the thickened syrup from the heat, add the vanilla and the reserved mashed berries. Set aside to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and chill completely before assembling the scones.
Strawberry Stuffed Ginger Rhubarb Scones (makes 18 scones)
(inspired by Bluebird Bakery, Ithaca Farmers Market and King Arthur Flour)
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon orange zest
scrapings from ½ of a vanilla bean
3½ oz. (7 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup fresh rhubarb, trimmed of leaves, rinsed, dried, cut into ¼” pieces
⅓ cup heavy cream
½ cup candied ginger, coarsely chopped by hand or pulsed until coarse in the food processor
additional heavy cream to brush on top of the scones
coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt, spices, both sugars, orange zest and vanilla bean scrapings. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Add the rhubarb and toss gently to coat with the flour/butter mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream. Add this to the dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Fold in the candied ginger.
On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, gently knead the dough just until it comes together. Divide the dough into three discs of equal size. Pat them into circles 4” round by 1” thick. Place the three circles of dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 45 minutes. When chilled, use a serrated knife to carefully divide each circle of dough in half horizontally. You will have 6 circles of dough, (hopefully of even thickness.) Remove the strawberry conserve from the refrigerator. Spread a generous ¼ cup of the conserve on 3 of the circles of dough, leaving a small border so the filling does not leak out of the sides. Top each with one circle of dough, creating a scone ‘sandwich.’ Use your fingers to gently press down and seal the edges and place the scone sandwiches back on the parchment lined baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. and refrigerate the scones for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator, brush the top of each circle with heavy cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Space the 3 circles evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 25-28 minutes, until the center tests clean with a knife. Let the scones cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Slicing each circle in half then in thirds will yield 18 scones, although you can certainly slice them larger or smaller. Serve warm with unsweetened whipped cream and any remaining strawberry conserve.
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