real life test kitchen: oaty, fruit-filled scones

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This post has been in the works for A LONG TIME. Before I was blogging even, about 6 years ago. You see, when I lived in CA, I had access to the world’s greatest scones. Up front, they didn’t look remarkably impressive — perfectly round and domed on top; the rustic, oaty pastry pockmarked with sugar. But when you bit into it, oh mama, was it good.
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In the center was a pocket of fruit baked inside the scone! I quickly became obsessed with these “magic scone pockets of delight”, and rushed to our farmer’s market every Sunday in hopes that they still had a few left (often they sold out fast). I eventually forged a friendship with the sconemaster and his family which resulted in many free cookies and bags of granola, but the secret to the scones eluded me.

Fast forward a few years and a whole lot of recipe testing — I’m not sure if it’s perfect, but I finally produced a successful batch of scone-pie hybrids. And now, I’ve made them 5 times. They are a TOUCH labor intensive, but honestly, for scones this amazing you won’t mind the extra time it takes to fill each one. And did I mention that these are the only scones that actually taste better the next day? Get those summer fruits ready and start the oven preheating, ’cause the recipe is after the jump! — Megan B.
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From our partners

want to read: 40 years of chez panisse: the power of gathering

chez panisse

Ever since receiving The Art of Simple Food from a dear friend, I’ve been fascinated and inspired by Alice Waters, her philosophy, her Edible Schoolyard initiative and her Berkeley, Calif., restaurant, Chez Panisse. I was fortunate enough to dine in the café portion of the restaurant on my first trip to Berkeley, and it is a memory I will never forget. This summer, Chez Panisse will celebrate its 40th anniversary and is commemorating the occasion with a series of special events and this new book, which I cannot wait to get my hands on. A tribute to Alice, her revolution and the people she’s touched over the course of the last four decades, the book is sure to please anyone with an interest in sustainable food culture or a love of Chez Panisse! Available for pre-order on Amazon now. –- Sarah C.

To learn more about Alice & her work, click here. For some of her favorite, quick summer dishes (including wine-soaked peaches!) pick up the August issue of Glamour, on newsstands now.

From our partners

new obsession: salmonberries

salmonberry

I recently spied these glowing orange-hued berries on a hike in Seattle’s Carkeek Park, where the trails were lined with bushes dangling the fruits like jewels. I knew it was too early to pick them, but I was sure that they were salmonberries, a wild berry that is a botanical cousin to the much-maligned Himalayan blackberry. So on our next hike, in Olallie State Park, I was tempted again to taste the trail side forbidden fruit — and I did. Waves of bright, tangy juice crashed on to my tongue, slightly reminiscent of raspberries. Salmonberries can be found in wet forests and near streams from Northern California to Alaska, and are usually the first berries to ripen of the season. And now that they’re ripe, I’ll be scouring the greenbelts near our house with a basket for more! I can only imagine how good they’ll be in salads, and how cool would it be to make salmonberry jam? Have you ever foraged for wild fruit? Let us know in the comments! — Megan B.

From our partners

what taste of summer are you waiting for?

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“Is the corn man here yet?” That becomes the common cry of my littlest every time spring comes around. After three straight months of being questioned, I’m happy to say it’s almost time for the “corn man” to show up alongside the road with a truck full of Silver Queen. I have to admit, it’s one of my favorite tastes of summer, too. What summer treat are you looking forward to? — Sarah L.

Vintage crate label available at TheLabelMan.com.

From our partners

real life test kitchen: perfect pops

Juice Bar
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Mexican Chocolate

Food trends seem to come and go at lightning speed these days, particularly when it comes to sweet treats. We’ve gone from cupcakes to whoopie pies to pie to Parisian macarons – it’s enough to make a baker throw up her apron in frustration. Fortunately, the latest and greatest in sweet treat trends is as simple as can be: the gourmet ice pop.

Now, believe me when I tell you this is not the Twin Pop you remember (with great fondness) from your youth. The new generation of ice pops are packed with real fruit, exotic flavors, and even, on occasion, a bit of booze…and they are delicious. You can shell out as much as $5 for a single pop at your friendly neighborhood Farmers’ Market. Or you can pick up a copy of Perfect Pops (by Charity Ferreira, Chronicle Books) and a $3 popsicle mold, and you’ll be set for the summer.

I think my favorite thing about this new book is how easy the ice pop thing really is. No mixers, no measuring cups, no oven required. I made a batch using nothing but a cereal bowl and a mini-spatula as my “tools”. These recipes are made for winging it, and they’re all but foolproof – you’ll quickly find yourself making substitutions in your head, and the beauty is that, because it’s not baking, just about anything goes.

I got a wild hair to try the Neo-Neopolitan Pops one night, and rummaged around in my fridge to see if I could make it happen. Fresh strawberries to cook down and puree? Nope, but I had strawberry jam and a sieve…good enough. Chocolate sauce? How about melting down some hot fudge? Turns out, it worked out perfectly. And after about 5 minutes of hands-on time (spread over an hour) and an overnight stay in the freezer, they were delicious.

Next on my list are the Blackberry Iced Tea pops. Of course, I don’t have blackberries, but I have some blueberries in my freezer that are desperate to be used. And I don’t have any Earl Grey tea, but I’m thinking maybe a batch of decaf peach tea might work out perfectly. –Becki S. Click for Neo-Neapolitan Pops! (more…)

From our partners