I love the autumn.
Not that it’s been very autumn-ey here in Tipperary. When I got off the plane in Dublin a month ago I was prepared with a warm sweater and my rain jacket handy, but as it turned out I didn’t need them… and I haven’t needed them all month.
This is strange to me.
See, the very first time I came to Ireland was in September. I left Korea with Pat and we were going to settle in Toronto for a few years, but we wanted to come here to visit with his family for awhile. So while my two cats flew straight to Toronto to be picked up and cared for by two saintly friends, Pat and I flew to Ireland for a month.
When we left Korea, it was normal Korea-weather for September. Hot. Still hot. Muggy. So muggy. I had been getting Japanese straightening perms my entire time in Asia but still, my hair was no match for a long Korean summer.
Imagine my genuine shock when we landed in Dublin late on that September evening, coming from the hot, sunny weather in Korea and descending into the bone-chillingly cold Irish autumn.
I got used to it quickly, and in fairness, it wasn’t bone-chillingly cold our entire time in Ireland (there was a particularly beautiful warm, sunny day spent on the lakes of Killarney). When we arrived in Toronto later that October I wasn’t so shocked by the cold weather.
With the unseasonable warmth this year came a shitload (an actual technical kitchen term, folks) of blackberries. I don’t know if I mentioned this already, but Pat and I are fixing up the family farmhouse in Tipperary, meaning we’re not in Waterford anymore (sniffle). We live down a long dirt road lined with hedges. I was delighted to discover the hedges were basically all blackberry bushes, sloe bushes, rosehips and elderberries. Jackpot.
Taking Maeve for a daily walk down the lane to see the “moo’s”, I would fill the two cupholders on the buggy with big, juicy berries. When I’d acquired enough, I just had to make a batch of cream scones. Two reasons for this:
- I live on a dairy farm now. I can just skim a bit of cream from the batch whenever I want. ENDLESS CREAM, PEOPLE.
- I had an amazing meal in Cape Breton at The Bite House which ended with a gorgeously plated cream scone crumble. I couldn’t get Bryan’s scone out of my mind.
Blackberries are my favourite berry after wild blueberries. I just love the flavour of them, especially picked wild and at their peak. It’s funny, each year I expect them to taste like raspberries (don’t ask me why) and am then pleasantly shocked when I remember how a blackberry is supposed to taste. They go so well with these sweet, crumbly scones and go particularly well with cream. You could skip this recipe altogether and just have a bowl of ’em with cream.
Blackberry Cream Scones
4 cups cream flour
2/3 cup golden demerera sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup cold, cubed butter
2 cups rinsed, fresh blackberries
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cup fresh cream
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3-4 Tbsp cream
Splash of vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (210 degrees Celsius, no fan) and line one or two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Rub in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the blackberries to the mixture. In a separate bowl, mix the cream, egg and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet all at once.
- Mix until everything is just incorporated. On a well-floured surface, knead/continue to mix the dough until you have a bit of elasticity (the dough may be on the wet side).
- Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll out the dough to a thickness of at least an inch. Cut and place each scone on the parchment lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
- Mix the three ingredients together for the glaze. Using a pastry brush, lightly glaze each scone while they’re still warm.