Berries, berries, berries - always on my mind at the moment. Raspberries in particular, because they're just the most perfect fruit ever. No, really. Go to the market, buy some and sit down to admire them with awe. Perfectly formed little red balls, stuck together miraculously, each hiding a precious pearl ... and don't they have the cutest little hairs? Gorgeous, I tell you. In my next life, I want to be a raspberry. Problem is, their life expectancy is not very high. At least not in my house. So I might reconsider and reincarnate as something else.
Last week I was invited to a friend's house for baby chat. Couldn't help trying out a new recipe I found in Good Food magazine. These scones are a real treat as they're both easy to make and low in everything which is generally considered nasty: fat and sugar. A light and summery accompaniment for your coffee or tea and they travel well, so keep them in mind for your next picnic on the beach!
Raspberry scones with vanilla mascarpone
(makes 6 - 8 scones)
225 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 heaped tbsp caster sugar
50 g butter (diced)
200 ml buttermilk
100 g raspberries
Mascarpone cream (optional)
250 g mascarpone
1 vanilla pod
1 tbsp sugar
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar in a pan and mix through with a fork. Add the butter and rub between your hands until it has blended in and the flour mix resembles breadcrumbs. Fold in the buttermilk, again using your fork until well combined. Do not work the dough too long, though, you want it to remain light and fluffy. Take the raspberries and fold them in with the dough, using your fingers to push them in lightly without converting them all to mash. Be gentle, so the dough doesn't get too wet.
Divide the mixture in 6 - 8, only loosely shaping it to form round lumps. Do resist rolling them in your hands or pressing the dough together, the less you work it, the fluffier the scones will be. Place them on a non-stick mat and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
For the mascarpone cream (if using) scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod and combine them with the mascarpone and sugar in a bowl. Chill until needed.