BLUEBERRIES are, to me, the West’s most exotic fruit. After a childhood filled with papayas, jackfruit, starfruit and durian but not blueberries, I refuse to believe that they are anything short of miraculous. While others may wax poetic over the properties of lychees, mangoes, persimmons and kumquats, I find myself in absolute raptures over the prospect of blueberries.
I’ve had a small container of blueberries sitting in my new fridge now for about a week. I bought them, not because I had specific plans for the little buggers, but because I like the implicit promise that they carry. Simply knowing they were waiting in the fridge meant that one day they would be used–that I would pluck them out of the fresh produce drawer and batter them up and serve them as dessert, or breakfast, or both. Tempting and chipper, they reminded me of the possibilities of my newly-minted oven, just aching to be put to the test.
Last night, trolling through a growing archive of music and movie blogs, I stumbled across a review of the new Wong Kar Wai film, My Blueberry Nights. Sure, the film is notable for its director and its stars (who include Norah Jones, Jude Law, and smaller roles by Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, and Cat Power). But it also has “blueberry” in the title, and I have to confess–galling as it is–that that’s what really caught my attention.
So when Emily and I started planning breakfast this morning (we needed a filling meal before heading out to Manayunk for the afternoon), all I could think of was that little plastic basket of blueberries sitting in the fridge, whispering sweet nothings to my appetite. We needed a meal to set us on the right path as we considered Emily’s potential move to the Philadelphia area (yay!), contingent on her finding a neighborhood she likes and a reasonably-priced apartment. (Hence, the daytrip to Manayunk.)
At Emily’s suggestion, we decided to make scones. Blueberry yoghurt scones. Trolling through the google archives, we found a fabulous recipe that called strictly for organic vanilla yoghurt and seemed pretty fool-proof. Armed with a grocery list (which included, among other things, more blueberries), we set out to build our dream breakfast.
What began as a simple trip to the grocery store for milk and eggs turned into an epic quest for parchment paper. Trying to find alternates for the paper, Emily called her chef uncle, only to spend a good 20 minutes learning more than she ever wanted to know about scabies before finally finding out that wax paper is not, in fact, an acceptable substitute. Aluminum foil can be used, but be wary: the foil heats up very quickly in the oven, and the bottoms of your scones will therefore be burnt. Parchment paper is the best option, if you can find it. (Hint: Rite Aid and CVS don’t carry it.)
We finally gave up and returned to the grocery store we had just left, and bought a single roll of parchment paper. My hope is that I will be making many more of these scones (and possibly even cookies!), and so will make good use of that elusive paper!
Blueberry Yoghurt Scones
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 stick butter, diced
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup organic vanilla yoghurt
- handful blueberries
Preheat oven to 400F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add in the diced butter and blend with a fork until there are no lumps of butter. Add in the yoghurt, vanilla extract and milk; mix until the batter begins to ball up. Stop when the dough begins to form a ball! (If you keep mixing, the scones won’t rise as much.) Fold in the berries.
Divide the dough into 8 balls. Brush with milk and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar; place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 15-17 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve with butter, honey, or fruit preserve. (I ate mine with both raspberry preserve and fig preserve…Either is delicious, though the scones are also marvelous alone!)
The great thing about this recipe is that it is incredibly simple, and you can substitute a variety of fruits for the blueberries. Strawberries, cranberries, orange zest, apricots… Take a free hand with it and see what you can come up with. I’ll look forward to hearing about your creations!