It’s been a great summer here at the Smith Bites Homestead; it is the first summer where The Professor didn’t teach during the break and we’ve had more than eight weeks to dig in our garden, work on our home and just simple be – sleep late, stay up late, read books, have friends over, bake, grill, eat and repeat. It has been glorious and was exactly what I needed to fill my soul.
We definitely had a list of tasks we wanted to check off our to-do list (hello garage that hadn’t been cleaned in a year!) but the only deadline was that they be completed by the time school started again. And in the midst of our laid-back summer was an unexpected opportunity for employment, interviews and a brand new job for The Professor at a new university – still here in the Midwest, but it meant a return to teaching audio and having the opportunity to help build a new program. Yes, it’s been a wonderful summer, indeed.
Scones are one of those recipes we find ourselves baking at least twice a month and The Professor has become quite adept at making them; cold buttery bits, cream and egg are gently worked into soft dough bespeckled with chunks of frozen fruit – in this case, it’s Georgia peaches – and patted into a rectangle, then cut into wedges. The recipe makes eight scones, but we bake two of them off and freeze the remainder for those days when we’re either running late or we are being leisurely and want to enjoy one with our morning coffee – either way, these are some of our very favorites.
I do hope your summer was fabulous – bring on fall!
GLUTEN-FREE PEACH GINGER SCONES
MAKES 8 Scones
NOTE: It is important to work the dough as little as possible-work quickly and knead and fold the dough only the number of times called for. The butter should be frozen solid before grating. An equal amount of frozen raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries can be used in place of the peaches. Cut larger berries into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces before incorporating. Scones can be cut/shaped and frozen on a parchment-lined sheet, then tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in zipped bags. To bake, remove plastic wrap, brush with cream, top with a sprinkle of raw sugar and bake on a parchment-lined sheet – add 5-10 minutes to the original baking time.
- 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), frozen, grated and then kept frozen until ready to use
- 1-1/2 cups (about 7.5 ounces) frozen peaches, chopped into 1/4” to 1/2” pieces
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 280 grams (2 cups) all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, plus additional for work surface
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if already in the flour blend)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 Tablespoon raw sugar for tops
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Grate butter on large holes of box grater (8 tablespoons total) and place in the freezer until ready to use; keep peaches in freezer until needed as well
- Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed
- Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger in medium bowl; add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until coated
- Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined (I save the little bit of the milk mixture left in the bottom of the bowl to brush the tops with – if you don’t have any leftover, you can brush with 2 Tablespoons whole milk, cream or melted butter). With rubber spatula, transfer dough to floured work surface; dust surface of dough with flour and knead dough 6 to 8 times until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking
- Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square; fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper to release dough if it sticks to work surface. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes
- Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle chopped peaches evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using bench scraper, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet
- Brush tops with leftover cream/sour cream mixture (or 2 Tablespoons cream or melted butter) and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar (I use raw sugar for the tops); bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer scones to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving