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Blueberry Lemon Scones
stop saying that you can’t do things
things you’ll need: flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemons, blueberries, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and a scale. optional icing: powdered sugar and more lemon.
adapted from this Lemon Poppy Seed Scone recipe on Cosette’s Kitchen by Cosette Posko and they were perfect.
if you need a little extra support or confidence, watch her video tutorial which totally convinced me that I could make scones and then I did.
incidentally vegetarian. in no way gluten-free or vegan, but trust King Arthur in most things “baking” and they have a gluten-free scone recipe. the internet vegans say you can sub butter and cream with coconut oil and almond (or soy or coconut) milk. Love and Lemons is pretty consistent when it comes to vegan and GF recipes, and they have a vegan AND gluten-free scone recipe.
Everything is getting a little worse again (still). You spent the last year and more thinking about and planning for all the things that you can’t do. You canceled trips and honeymoons and graduations and maybe you even tried to cancel a whole birth because they wanted you to do it alone.
“Can’t” is a stupid idea. You make choices. There are very few things that cannot be achieved if you make the choice to achieve them. Unless you want to be the Queen of England. It’s also probably too late for you to be on a pro-sports team. But maybe you somehow manage to jump the line of succession through a series of bizarre circumstances, and maybe you are already in the best shape of your life and possess the natural talent for said sport. In which case, you totally can. Maybe you can do both!
All those jobs they said couldn’t be done remotely were done remotely. All the things they said couldn’t be done online were done online. All those things you thought you couldn’t do without you did without. You learned that you were able to do a lot more than you thought you could do, tolerate more than you thought you could tolerate, and survive more than you thought you could survive.
You have innovated and problem solved and one time you even used weatherproofing plastic to divide a room so that you could safely eat a meal next to people that you love without breathing the same air.
The point is that you convince yourself that you can’t do certain things and most of the time you have made up that rule. You can.
That isn’t to say that it won’t be hard and uncomfortable, and you may fail and it might hurt, but you can. That isn’t to say that people won’t try and stop you or that it won’t cost you or that you may not have to fight for it, but you can.
In the same right, choosing not to is not the same as failing. You can decide it’s too dangerous or costly or time-consuming or just not worth it because that’s your choice too. Your choice is yours alone. But if you set yourself to it, then you can.
So, when you say that you can’t bake, you are a liar. You can bake. You don’t do it often and you aren’t very good at it and you don’t have the same strong instincts that you do with vegetables and sauces or dressings, but you can actually bake.
No one said that you have to bake, but if you’ve made a few bad bakes and then surrendered because you just CAN’T bake, you are a lying quitter. No one said that you have to be good at everything you do. Well, that’s not true. There is a little voice in the back of your head that says you have to be good at everything you do but that voice is a gaslighting asshole.
Maybe you are perusing the Foodstagram and happen upon a video of a lovely baker making scones. Maybe you watch said video because you love scones and have no idea how hard they are to make. Maybe you find out that scones are easy. Maybe, as you are watching, you keep thinking “I can do that” and even the asshole voice in your head kind of agrees.
Grab the scale that you bought when you got really into pour-over coffee and weighed every gram for the perfect water:coffee ratio. No scale? No worries.
Weigh out 400 grams of flour (3 cups). Add 70 grams (1/3 cup) of sugar, 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder (which is something like 14.4 grams), ½ teaspoon of salt (which you are probably just gonna eyeball), and the zest of 2 large lemons (which weighs whatever it weighs).
The fun part comes when you add the 4 Tablespoons of cold, unsalted, butter (56 grams) all cut into cubes (the internet has a thing for grating frozen butter, but you can try that next time). Wash and dry your hands and then rub the butter and flour together.
When you read recipes that told you to do this, you didn’t understand (like Moira and David trying to fold in cheese). Having watched the video you can now dig your hands in and start rubbing the flour and butter together with a shaky sense of confidence. Stop when it’s mostly combined but still crumbly (after rewatching the video to see what “crumbly” actually looks like).
Even though the video shows you how to make Lemon Poppy Seed scones, you are gonna bake Lemon Blueberry because it’s your favorite and because you can. Using your best judgment and the barest inkling of instinct, pour in a bunch of fresh blueberries and 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream (that you mixed with a little vanilla extract). Use a spatula to gently combine it all until the ingredients start to bind a little. It’s ok (you think) if the blueberries squish and the dough goes a little purple in some spots.
If the dough is really dry and not binding at all, add a tablespoon or so of cream at a time until it does, because that’s what the video told you to do. Trust yourself (and rewatch the video again).
This dough isn’t anything like bread or pizza dough and you don’t have to know how to knead or what the “windowpane test” means. Just sprinkle your (clean) counter with some flour, dump out the wet-ish dough, and kinda mush it around gently until it mostly holds together, but obstinately still crumbles in a few places. Divide it in half and pat each half into round-ish, flat-ish, shapes. Then, cut it into scone-sized triangles.
Place those triangles in the freezer for at least 15 minutes (or overnight). When you are ready to shovel them into your face as soon as they are done baking, preheat the oven to 425, place the triangles on your baking sheet (lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat), and bake for 18-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Since you are a little nervous about under baking, you can wait until you see one corner turn so dark you think it’s burnt, then you can get nervous that you’ve overbaked them and take them out.
As you set them to cool, that insipid shit-talking voice in your head will tell you that they are ruined. When you break open your first warm scone and you behold the flakey and steaming perfection inside, you’ll know that you can and you did and even that voice in your head will whisper “damn, my bad” because they are fucking perfect.
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