Lemon Blueberry Scones

It’s blueberry season!  They are abundant and delicious and to top it all off, they are a superfruit,  full of antioxidants and nutrients.  I found an awesome deal on blueberries today…80 cents a pound.  I came home with 6 pounds of blueberries.  I’m going on a blueberry kick for the next few days.  I’m going to be making blueberry preserves, crumb bars, muffins, sauce…I’m doing a happy dance in my head.  But first I think I’ll start with the basics….A wonderful lemon blueberry scone.  Scones are great with coffee anytime.  As a dessert or as a breakfast or brunch item.  They also freeze really, really well which means I can have some when I get off this Master Cleanse (I just had a food porn moment).

Add the zest of one lemon
Blend in the butter with a pastry blender
Fold in cream and egg mixture with blueberries
Pat dough into a square on a well floured surface
Cut into 8 parts or 16 (I prefer 16)
Brush each scone with some heavy cream and sprinkle top with some raw sugar
Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees

Lemon Blueberry Scones

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

zest of one lemon

1 stick of unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup heavy cream

a little extra cream and some turbinado (raw) sugar for brushing and sprinkling on top

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Add lemon zest to the flour mixture and mix together. Using a pastry blender or two forks cut the cold cubed butter into the flour mixture until it’s a coarse mixture.  Beat together egg and heavy cream and pour into the flour mixture and fold the mixture together, when it’s fairly well mixed, gently mix in the blueberries taking care not to smash the blueberries.  Don’t over work the dough.  On a floured surface, press the dough dough gently to form a square about 1 inch thick.  Cut into half then into half again so there are four squares.  Cut the squares at a diagonal to get the triangle shape.  If you want smaller pieces cut the triangles again so you get a total of 16 pieces.  Place on a ungreased cookie sheet.  Brush the tops of each triangle with some heavy cream and sprinkle with some turbinado sugar.  Bake for about 20 minutes at 400°F.  Let the scones cool on a cooling rack before serving.

Very Blueberry Muffins

I love fresh fruits of any kind.  Especially berries.  I had never had any type of berries until I moved to the States and lived on a farm with my American family.  Every summer I helped to pick raspberries, marionberries and blueberries.  I got scratched a lot in the middle of the bushes.  The thorny kinds had the best yields.  That’s when I learned that freshly picked berries warmed by the sun are a special treat.  I ate as many as I picked!!   I keep meaning to put in a berry patch in my yard but they never seem to fit into my landscaping plans.  So, I’m always on the look out for fresh berries at the grocery store.  This week there were entire flats of blueberries available for $4 at this local store I like to go to that sells unusual combination of things.  I had to buy them up.  I ended up making blueberry compotes, chutneys, breads, pancakes ….and muffins.  These muffins were everything a muffin should be and unlike the Seinfeld episode, I ate the whole thing with my coffee and not just the muffin tops!

Mash about 3/4 cup of the blueberries with a fork
Mix in the smashed blueberries to the batter, alternating wet and dry ingredients as the batter is mixed
Stir in the remaining whole blueberries by hand
LIne muffin cups with liners and scoop out batter with an ice cream scoop
Sprinkle top with a little raw sugar before baking
Bake for about 22-25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Very Blueberry Muffins

1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups flour

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup milk

raw cane sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 375°.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  Using an electric mixer cream the butter and the sugar until creamy.  Add in the eggs and the vanilla and continue mixing.  In a separate bowl smash 1 cup of the blueberries with a fork and add to the batter and mix.  In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt until blended and with the mixer running at low speed add half the flour mixture to the batter and half of the milk and blend.  Add remaining flour and milk.  Fold in the remaining blueberries by hand.  Using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle a little of the raw can sugar on top of each muffin.  Bake for 22-25 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on a wire cooling rack before serving.

Adapted from a Gale Gand recipe published in 1999

Aloo Naan (spicy potato stuffed naan bread)

There’s nothing like fresh hot naan.  I love all kinds of naan.  Peshwari Naan, Garlic Naan, Plain Naan, or in this case a stuffed Naan.  You  might be thinking to yourself (or not) why stuff potatoes inside a bread?  Well, why not?  Actually since this serves as the main carb for a meal, it’s perfect.  It’s great served with daal, channa dishes or one of my go to dishes Sabzi Paneer Masala.  Since I don’t own a Tandoor oven, the best way I know how to mimic one is by using a pizza stone.  A Tandoor oven heats up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit.  The highest my gas oven will go is 550 degrees Fahrenheit.  In order to compensate for this temperature difference  I usually place  the pizza stone in a rack closest to the upper element.  I usually preheat the oven to the highest it will go (500 for electric or 550 for gas) with the pizza stone in it.  Then right before baking the naans, I turn the oven to the broil function.  This helps even out the heat from the top and the bottom and usually the naans turn out fantastic.  Try this one.  You’ll be the talk of the town.

Naan ingredients
Aloo filling ingredients
Proof yeast in water and sugar
Make a well in the middle of the flour and add liquid ingredients.
Make the dough and let it rest for 4-8 hours.
Cook the potatoes in the microwave, mash them and add all the spices. Make into 6 equal balls
The potato ball should be a little smaller than the naan dough ball
Roll dough into a 3" circle and place the potato ball in the middle
Pull the edges of the dough together and make a nice smooth ball
Let the dough balls with the filling inside rest for about 3-4 minutes before rolling out
Heat oven to 500 (or as high as it will go) with a pizza stone in it
Place rolled out dough onto hot pizza stone (I can usually fit up to 3 on the stone)
Cook for 2-3 minutes. Naan will usually puff up
Brush hot naan with ghee (clarified butter) or just plain butter
Enjoy your Aloo Naan!

The Aloo filling is delicious!

Here’s the recipe:

Aloo Naan

Makes 6 Naans

Plain Naan dough:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

2 tbsp plain yogurt (I like Greek)

3/4 cup warm water

Aloo Filling (potato filling):

2 medium russet potatoes

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)

1/2 tsp dry mango powder (Amchur)

1 Serrano chili, partially seeded and chopped

2 tbsp chopped Cilantro (coriander leaves or Dhania)

1/2 tsp garam masala

additional items:

2 tbsp oil (to coat hands, for the dough etc)

2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) – to brush the naans with

1/8 – 1/4 cup flour to dust rolling surface

Making the Naan:

I make the dough for this naan in the morning before going to work, it only takes a couple of minutes and it’s perfect for when I get home.  The dough works really well 6-8 hours later.  Needs at least a minimum of 4 hours, so plan accordingly.  

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and let it proof for a few minutes until it bubbles up.  In a larger bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking soda.  Make a well in the center of the flour and add in the yogurt and oil.  Mix together until you get a coarse crumbly texture.  Slowly add in the proofed yeast mixture and knead the dough.  Don’t worry if the dough is slightly sticky.  Put a few drops of oil on the dough and smooth it all over the dough ball.  Cover the bowl with the dough in it with some plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 4 hours.  I prefer about 6-8.  It doesn’t really over-rise so even if it is longer than 8 hours, it’s okay.

Aloo filling:

Wash the two potatoes and pierce the skin with a fork a few times.  Microwave about 4-5 minutes (depending on microwave) until potatoes are tender.  Don’t skin and boil these potatoes since we’re trying to reduce moisture content.  Once cooked and slightly cooled, peel the potatoes and smash them with a fork or a potato masher.  Add all the spices to the mashed potatoes and mix well.  Divide and roll into six equal balls.

Putting it all together:

Preheat the oven to 500 or 550 (as high as it will go) with the pizza stone in it.  Pre-heat for about 20 minutes because you want the stone nice and hot.

Coat hands with a little vegetable oil and knead the naan dough a few times and divide the dough into six equal parts.  Sprinkle a little flour on the rolling surface and roll out dough into 3″ circles.  Place a potato ball in the middle and wrap dough around it like a little dumpling.  Make sure to pull the edges together well.  Make all six balls the same way and let it rest for about 5 minutes (this rest period helps a lot when rolling it out).  In the meantime, turn the oven on to broil and make sure the rack with the stone is closest to the top element (be sure to wear oven mitts or you’ll get a nasty burn like me).

Roll out naans into an oval shape.  Before placing them on the stone, coat the palms of your hands with a little oil and flip each naan back and forth to lightly coat each side.  Place 3 naans on the stone (or however many will fit on your stone).  Cook for about 2 minutes, maybe 3 depending on your oven.  It should get a nice golden brown color on top and will puff up.  Take out the naan and brush with ghee (clarified butter) or regular butter.

Make sure to wait 2-3 minutes between baking batches of naan to give your oven time to get back to the maximum temperature.  Serve Naan with Sabzi Paneer Masala.