Ever seen the cartoon where there is a pie cooling on the windowsill, fingers of aroma wafting from it, enticing Spike, making him forget that he was in the middle of pummeling Tom? If not the same, I’m sure you’d have at least seen some version as it was a very popular setting back in the 80’s and 90’s. Maybe that was also because every other house was, in fact, cooling their pies on the windowsill. Me? I could only dream of it and not just because we didn’t have an oven, but an even more fundamental problem: our windows had grills. The most you could do is to try and stick your arm through them to catch the rain or use them as a step to climb onto the storage crawl space (which, if it wasn’t obvious from my soooper specific example, was my favourite thing to do as a kid.)
I’d completely forgotten about pies and windowsills until I moved into this tiny apartment off campus. Apparently the building used to be a frat house before the college converted it into an apartment. I guess that accounted for the lack of a designated kitchen area. All we had was a stove by the window in our kitchen/dining/living room.
One day in the winter, I was running around the kitchen making roasted pumpkin soup when I ran out of space on the table to keep the pan of roasted pumpkin which had to be cooled down. Without thinking twice, I put the pan on the windowsill and went about the other steps. When I came back to it, it struck me. I HAVE A WINDOWSILL!!!! Now, I could be just like in the cartoons I grew up watching.
This grand realisation now required something worthy of the windowsill. I had only recently made pie, so I decided to make scones. Delicious, flaky, light blueberry scones. To be quite honest, I only knew what they looked like and not what they tasted like. I think one of the main reasons I avoided them was because they looked dry and bland. If you’ve also avoided scones until now because you had the same idea as me, this is the scone to have to break that opinion. These are moist not just because of the juicy blueberries in them, but also the cream. My recommendation is that you don’t substitute that.
Since I knew nothing about scones, I read up extensively and this is what I learnt:
- The butter has to be super cold. I’m not talking fridge cold, I’m saying stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes before starting the prep work. This is to make sure that even after working with it, there are solid pieces of butter in the dough, which when it melts in the oven, it creates air pockets, making it light.
- Do not over-knead the dough and in my opinion, anything beyond simply bringing it together is over-kneading. The more you knead, the more gluten forms, making it tougher. When you are adding the wet ingredients, gently fold them in. Do not over work them.
Just a heads up, some berries would get squished, don’t panic (like I did the first time). If you add them just before the dough comes together, you can avoid damaging the berries as much as possible.
You can find the complete recipe here.