Cooking

Easy Appetizers – Shrimp and Cucumber Bites

When I think of super easy starters, cucumber and shrimp appetizers immediately spring to mind. When it comes to party finger foods, these are fantastic. They also taste wonderful with brunch, or served as low-fat snacks.

Shrimp and cucumber appetizer for St. Paddy's Day.

Shrimp and cucumber starters are so easy to assemble I make them for many occasions – summer barbecues, Christmas feasts, New Year’s parties and Paddy’s Day get-togethers.  The list goes on and on.

Even though I never tasted cold shrimp until I came to America, these super easy nibblers qualify as perfect Irish party food in my book. The secret is in the colors.

These ingredients proudly boast the colors of the Irish flag – green, white and orange, so why not make them when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Party Starters with shrimp and cucumber

Another reason to love these easy, elegant snacks is their low-calorie count. Cucumbers are a healthy alternative to crackers. The herb cream cheese lends delicious buttery texture, complimenting the coolness of the cucumber and shrimp.

And into the bargain, you can’t beat a no-cook party starter, especially during the hot summer months, when I try to avoid turning my oven on, or even lighting up a burner indoors.

These are great for summertime hors d’oeuvres.  When I was a kid I loved to say “horse devours”, and I was very good at devouring every morsel put on a plate before me.  I wish my boys would eat like I did when I was young.  Only my little girl licks her lips for foods like cold shrimp and cucumbers.

I suppose this technically isn’t a recipe at all. Just one look at the picture and it’s pretty easy to guess how to put these wee bites together.

Ingredients for cucumber and shrimp starters

All you need is three ingredients to make this easy appetizer: cucumber, garlic and herb cream cheese spread, and of course, the star of the show, the shrimp.

To make life extra easy I love to buy peeled, deveined, and cooked shrimp.  If frozen I thaw them according to the package directions, pat them dry with paper towels and season them with a little salt and pepper.

 

Peeling a cucumber in stripes

I like to go all fancy and create stripes on the cucumbers with my peeler before slicing them up. 

Sliced cucumber

The variation of green shades makes the starters look more appetizing, but then again I am partial to forty shades of green.

Pat the cucumber slices dry with paper towels before assembling the appetizers.

If you don’t wish to buy pre-made garlic and herb creamed cheese you can always create your own white spread to hold the cucumber and shrimp together. 

One alternative I sometimes use is a mixture of softened cream cheese, sour cream, dill, chopped fresh chives, fresh lemon juice, and salt. This creates a delicious spread.

But nine times out of ten I take the easy route and buy a pre-made spread.

Steps for assembling shrimp and cucumber starter

Next comes assembly time. Take a slice of cucumber. Add a dollop of cheese spread, and then add a shrimp on top.

 

Easy Irish Appetizers

Voilà – an easy-peasy, simple starter that’s healthy and tasty too.  And don’t forget, when March rolls around, these little bites are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

Here’s the printable recipe:

Easy Shrimp and Cucumber Appetizers

Serves 10
Prep time 15 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Starter
Occasion Casual Party
Cucumber and shrimp appetizers are fantastic party starters or finger food, that also taste wonderful with brunch, or served as low-fat snacks.

Ingredients

  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup garlic and herb creamed cheese
  • 30 peeled, deveined and cooked shrimp
  • salt and pepper to season shrimp

Directions

Step 1 Thaw the shrimp per package instructions if using frozen shrimp. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the shrimp with about 1/8 teaspoon of salt and pepper to season.
Step 2 Peel 4 vertical stripes of skin from the outside of each cucumber, alternating dark peel and light no-peel stripes. Cut each cucumber into 3/4 inch wide slices. Dry off the cucumber slices using paper towels.
Step 3 Add a teaspoon of cream cheese spread on top of each cucumber slice.
Step 4 Place one shrimp on top of each cucumber slice.
Step 5 Serve cold.

I hope you enjoy these light, crunchy, and flavorful starters as much as I do.

 

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

 

Irish American Mom

 

Nectarine and Blackcurrant Galette

Galette is a French term for an open, free-form, rustic tart. It’s a perfect summer treat to use and display the beautiful fruits of summer in a totally delicious way.

The pastry crust in a galette can take many forms, but one of my favorite ways to build a galette is with a sheet of puff pastry.

A dollop of cream on fruit pie

Who doesn’t love puff pastry?  I sometimes make my own, but 9 times out of 10 I take the easy way out and buy pre-made sheets at the grocery store.  Good old puff pastry makes it so easy to assemble an impressive looking dessert in double quick time and with minimal effort.

I’m one home cook who ADORES puff pastry.

Last summer when I was home in Ireland I baked a puff pastry nectarine and blackcurrant galette. My sister grew an abundant crop of blackcurrants so I needed to create a recipe to use them up in a tasty way.

I didn’t share this recipe last year when I discovered the reason why blackcurrants are so hard to find in the United States. But then I realized this tart will be just as scrumptious if made with blueberries instead of blackcurrants, so I decided to go ahead and share it.

Ingredients for Nectarine and blackcurrant galette

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 egg (beaten to use for egg wash on pastry)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 2 large nectarines
  • 1 cup blackcurrants (blueberries can be substituted)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons of apricot jam
  • splash of boiling water

 

Preparing crust for fruit galette

Defrost the puff pastry sheet per package instructions.  This usually takes about 45 minutes at room temperature.

Next prepare the sheet pan or baking sheet as we say in Ireland.  Use parchment paper to line a 13″ x 9″ sheet pan. If you only own a larger pan it will work just fine, since the puff pastry doesn’t have to lay right up against the sides of the pan.

Pre-heat the oven to 400° F.

Lay the sheet of thawed pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut a 1 inch strip from all four edges.

Brush the outer edges of the pastry sheet with egg wash and lay the strips of pastry over the edges to create a frame. Remove excess pieces so that there is only one layer of pastry forming the frame at the corners.

Lightly prick the base of the galette with a fork to prevent it from bubbling up while cooking.

Brush the melted butter over the base and sprinkle it with the ground almonds. Keep the almonds within the frame.

 

Sprinkling sugar on sliced nectarines for a galette

Halve the nectarines and remove the inner stone. Slice them evenly then toss the pieces in lemon juice.

Lay the nectarine pieces over the galette. I like to place them in two even lines at the top and bottom of the tart, and them fill the center with the extra pieces.

Mix the sugar and corn starch together and sprinkle over the nectarines.

Nectarines and blackcurrants on an open face tart

Spread the blackcurrants over the nectarines. Blueberries are absolutely delicious in this dessert. The end product is far sweeter than when using tart blackcurrants. If you like a sweeter galette when using blackcurrants, feel free to use an additional few tablespoons of sugar.

Applying egg wash to pastry for a galette

Brush the edges or the frame of the galette with the egg wash. This will create a lovely golden crust.

Tenting edges of a galette with foil to prevent burning

Bake the tart in the pre-heated 400° F oven for 25 minutes. 

If the edges start to brown too quickly, cover them with an aluminum foil tent.

Apricot glaze for a galette

Just before the galette is cooked prepare the glaze by microwaving the apricot jam with a dash of boiling water for about 20 seconds. Mix it together well.

Baked nectarine and blackcurrant galette

Remove the cooked tart from the oven.

Glazing the fruit on a galette

Brush the top of the fruit with the jam glaze. This creates a lovely, appetizing sheen on the fruit.

 

Slice of nectarine and blackcurrant galette with cream

This galette is delicious served cold, or I like it when it is just a little bit warm with a big a dollop of cream or ice cream.

Here is the printable recipe:

Nectarine and Blackcurrant Galette

Serves 10
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Nectarine and blackcurrant galette is an open, free-form, rustic tart, and is a perfect way to use display the beautiful fruits of summer in a totally delicious way.

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg (beaten to use as egg wash for pastry)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 2 Large nectarines
  • 1 cup blackcurrants (blueberries can be substituted)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam
  • splash of boiling water

Directions

Step 1 Defrost the puff pastry sheet per package instructions.
Step 2 Line a 13" x 9" sheet pan with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 400° F.
Step 3 Lay the sheet of thawed pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut a 1 inch strip from all four edges.
Step 4 Place the large puff pastry piece on the parchment lined sheet pan. Prick it lightly with a fork. Brush a one inch strip along the edge of the pastry with egg wash. Place the strips of pastry over the edges to create a frame, cutting away any excess.
Step 5 Brush the base of the galette with melted butter. Sprinkle the ground almonds over the base of the galette, making sure not to cover the pastry edges.
Step 6 Slice the nectarines evenly, removing the inner stone. Sprinkle the nectarines with lemon juice, then layer them over the almonds.
Step 7 Mix the corn starch with the sugar and sprinkle over the nectarines. Spread the blackcurrants evenly over the nectarines.
Step 8 Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.
Step 9 Bake for 25 minutes. Cover the pastry edges with an aluminum foil tent if the pastry is browning too quickly.
Step 10 Heat the apricot jam and a splash of boiling water in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Mix well and then brush over the top of the cooked galette.
Step 11 Cool before slicing. Serve with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

Happy summer baking!

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom

Reader Recipe – Modified Irish Sponge Cake

Aimee, a reader from Lexington, Kentucky used my Irish sponge recipe to bake a delicious birthday cake.  She modified my recipe in the most amazing ways.

Home ground whole wheat pastry flour replaces cake flour, a substitution I would never have dreamed of making. Sucanat replaces refined processed sugar.  Maple syrup sweetens the whipping cream, to create a decadent, luscious filling. Her final creation looks fantastic.

Sponge Cake with whole wheat flourImage Credit

Aimee’s Food Philosophy:

 

Aimee loves to cook from scratch. I love this quotation on her website.

 

“The food you eat can be either the safest

and most powerful form of medicine

OR the slowest form of poison.”

– Ann Wigmore

 

Here is how Aimee describes her food philosophy:

“A “real foodie” is someone who cooks “traditional” food. We cook stuff from scratch using real ingredients, like raw milk, grass-fed beef, eggs from chickens that run around outdoors, whole grains, sourdough and yogurt starters, mineral-rich sea salt, and natural sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup.

We don’t use modern foods that are either fake, super-refined, or denatured. This includes modern vegetable oils like Crisco and margarine, soy milk, meat from factory farms, pasteurized milk from cows eating corn and soybeans, refined white flour, factory-made sweeteners like HFCS or even refined white sugar, or commercial yeast.

We believe in eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that come from nature. So we shop at farmer’s markets or buy direct from the farmer, or we grow food in our own backyards.”

 

And so here is Aimee’s modified sponge cake recipe, for a less sugary treat.

Ingredients:

    • 4 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup sucanat, which is unprocessed cane sugar.
    • 3/4 cups plus two tablespoons of home-ground whole wheat pastry flour.
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry jam (Aimee used homemade jam)
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoons  maple syrup

 

Directions: 

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two 9-inch round baking pans with non-stick spray infused with flour, or grease with butter and dust with a light coating of flour.

Step 2: Add the eggs and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for 6 to 8 minutes until the mixture has increased in volume and thickened to a consistency of whipped heavy cream.

Step 3: In a separate bowl sift the flour and baking powder together. Spoon half the flour into the egg mixture and gently fold it in using a spatula. Repeat with the second half of the flour, folding gently to fully incorporate the flour. Add the vanilla essence with the flour if desired.

Step 4: Pour half of the cake mixture into each of the prepared baking pans. Bake in the preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes. The sponges will be golden brown, with a slight spring to the touch when cooked.

Step 5: Remove the sponges from the oven and cool on a wire tray.

Step 6: Whip the heavy cream using an electric beater until thick. Add the maple syrup to sweeten if desired. Spread jam on the inner surface of each sponge. Place one layer on a plate, spreading the cream over the jam. Sandwich the cream with the upper sponge layer.

Step 7: Decorate by sifting a fine layer of confectioners’ sugar on top. Slice to serve.

sponge cake with candlesImage Credit

 

Look how good this cake looks decorated with colorful candles. An Irish sponge cake definitely makes a perfect birthday cake in my recipe book.

A big thank you to Aimee for making these wonderful modifications, to transform an old Irish favorite.  My mom always made sponge cakes to celebrate birthdays when I was a little girl in Dublin. I’m happy to see that tradition continuing on this side of the Atlantic.

 

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

 

Irish American Mom

 

Note:  If you are a home cook who would like to share a recipe with Irish or Irish American origins, please feel free to contact me using the form below. If approved, your recipe could be the next one featured on Irish American Mom’s reader recipes.

 

 

 

Summer Pudding

Summer pudding, packed with juicy fresh berries, is one of my all time favorite desserts of the summer. This pudding looks spectacular when plated, giving the impression it’s a pretty complicated recipe, but making this classically English dessert is so much easier than it looks.  It’s so easy in fact, I think it’s a perfect recipe for beginners.

Summer Pudding

The red and blue fruits of this pudding are perfectly highlighted by white serving cream, making this a perfect dessert for 4th of July celebrations.  So today I plan to make summer pudding converts of all my American readers.

When in Ireland I make this pudding using strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, and red currants. In a previous post I revealed my love of blackcurrants and my disappointment upon finding they are actually illegal to grow in some parts of America.   Once I discovered currants are not grown in all states, and therefore not readily available, I substituted blueberries for the red and black currants in my summer pudding recipe.

Aerial shot of an English summer pudding

And always remember, if you can’t get your hands on enough fresh fruit, this pudding is just as delicious when made using frozen fruit. If you don’t have a pudding bowl you can make it in a loaf tin – no need to be fussy. Individual ramekins look really attractive too.

Individual Serving of Summer Pudding

Individual Serving of Summer Pudding

This pudding looks very impressive, and can be made ahead, so it’s a really a great dinner party dessert.  I often imagine the gentry of Downton Abbey enjoying a little summer pudding in July.

And so here’s my recipe…..

Ingredients for Summer Pudding

Ingredients for Summer Pudding

Ingredients:

 

  • 16 oz fresh strawberries (2/3 of a container for the pudding and the remainder to garnish)
  • 6 oz fresh blackberries
  • 12 oz fresh raspberries
  • 4 oz fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 10 medium slices white bread (day old bread is best)

Adding raspberries to sugar syrup for Summer Pudding

The first step involves bringing out the juices from the fruits. Add the sugar and water to a large saucepan over gentle heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and allow the syrup to simmer for 1 minute.

Add the raspberries, blackberries and blueberries to the syrup and reduce the heat to low. Some summer pudding cooks like to heat the strawberries too, but I find they turn too mushy when simmered. I recommend not cooking the strawberries.

Fruit simmering for Summer Pudding

Cook the fruit for 3 minutes, stirring the mixture gently a few times, being careful not to break up the fruit. Shaking the saucepan works well to prevent sticking, but you do need to stir a little to cover the fruit in sugar syrup to draw out the juices.

Straining fruit for summer pudding

Remove the fruit from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Strain the fruit using a sieve over a large bowl.

Bread sliced for a summer pudding

The next step involves preparing the bread to line the sides of the pudding bowl.  I use a 1.5 quart pudding bowl for this recipe.  I find a country white bread is best, but you can use whole wheat bread or brioche.

  • First remove the crusts from all the slices of bread.
  • The sides require 4 slices of bread cut in half on a slight diagonal.
  • 3 circles of bread are required for the bottom of the bowl, the middle of the pudding and to cover the base.
  • Use the bowl to cut a circle the size of the small end of the bowl from one slice of bread.
  • Place 2 slices of bread side by side, and use a saucer to cut two semi-circles.  This will be the circle for the middle of the pudding.
  • Place 2 slices of bread side by side with another one perpendicular, and cut a circle the size of the large open end of the bowl.

 

Building a summer pudding

Use 2 x 20 inch sheets of plastic film to line a 1.5 quart pudding bowl, allowing the excess film to hang over the sides of the bowl. I find it’s easier to use two pieces of plastic wrap rather than trying to get one large piece to fit into the bowl.  Without the plastic wrap the pudding may end up sticking to the basin. Nobody wants a messy heap on plate when serving.   I like to soak dip the bread pieces in the juices as I assemble the pudding. It prevents white patches of bread with no juice in the finished pudding.

Note: A reader let me know his finished pudding would not hold its shape, even when chilled overnight. He may have oversoaked the bread pieces. The goal of dipping the bread pieces is to color them red, so only dip them long enough to get an even color on the outer surface of each piece. Saturating the bread will result in a wobbly pudding.

Bread lined pudding bowl for summer pudding

  • First, take the smallest circle of bread and dip it into the fruit juices to coat it. Place it at the very bottom of the pudding bowl.
  • Next dip the triangular side pieces into the juice. Line the sides of the bowl by slightly overlapping the bread pieces.
  • Add the sliced strawberries to the fruit mixture.
  • Spoon one third of the fruit into the bowl.
  • Dip the smaller two semi-circular bread pieces into the fruit juice. Place them over the first layer of fruit.

 

I like to add this extra layer of bread in the middle of the pudding. I find it helps to support the fruit and the pudding doesn’t collapse when you cut it for serving.
Fruit added to summer pudding
  • Add the remainder of the fruit to the pudding bowl.
  • Soak the larger semi-circles of bread in the juice and place them over the fruit in the bowl.
Reserve any excess juice in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Sometimes when I make this pudding I have left over juices, and sometimes the bread just soaks it all right up.  The amount of juice yielded is totally dependent upon how juicy your fresh fruit is.  I usually keep a bag of frozen raspberries in the freezer. If the fruit I am using doesn’t yield enough fruit juice to completely soak the bread pieces, I quickly heat up some frozen raspberries with sugar and water to yield a little more juice.
Summer pudding covered in plastic wrap
  • Bring the cling film up and over the bottom of the pudding.
  • Place a smaller plate or saucer on top of the pudding and weigh it down with cans.  Sometimes I just place another bowl filled with water on top.
Weighing down a summer pudding
  • Chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
  • To remove the pudding for serving, open out the saran wrap.
  • Place a serving plate upside-down on top and flip the pudding over.
  • Remove the saran wrap.
  • Decorate with left over strawberries or any other fruit.
English Summer Pudding
Serve slices of the pudding with leftover juice, and cream.

Opening a summer pudding

I hope you enjoy this pudding as much as I do – it truly is a taste of summer.

Here is the printable recipe:

 

Summer Pudding

Serves 8
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Region British

Ingredients

  • 16oz fresh strawberries (2/3 of a container for the pudding and the remainder to garnish)
  • 6oz fresh blackberries
  • 12oz fresh raspberries
  • 4oz fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 10 medium slices white bread (day old bread is best)

Directions

Step 1 Add the sugar and water to a large saucepan over gentle heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and allow the syrup to simmer for 1 minute
Step 2 Add the raspberries, blackberries and blueberries to the syrup and reduce the heat to low. Do not cook the strawberries. Cook the fruit for 3 minutes, stirring the mixture gently a few times, being careful not to break up the fruit.
Step 3 Remove the fruit from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Strain the fruit using a sieve over a large bowl.
Step 4 Remove the crusts from the slices of bread. Cut 4 pieces of bread in half on a slight diagonal. Place 2 slices of bread side by side, and another above them. Place the 1.5 quart pudding bowl upside down over the slices of bread and cut around the circumference to create two semi-circles of bread, plus an additional crescent.
Step 5 Take another two slices of bread and use a saucer, smaller than the circumference of the bowl, to cut an additional two semi-circles for the middle of the pudding. Cut a smaller circle from the last slice of bread.
Step 6 Use 2 x 20 inch sheets of plastic wrap to line a 1.5 quart pudding bowl, allowing the excess film to hang over the sides of the bowl.
Step 7 Take the smallest circle of bread and dip it into the fruit juices to coat it. Place it at the very bottom of the pudding bowl. Next dip the triangular side pieces into the juice. Line the sides of the bowl by slightly overlapping the bread pieces.
Step 8 Add the sliced strawberries to the fruit mixture. Spoon one third of the fruit into the bowl. Dip the smaller two semi-circular bread pieces into the fruit juice. Place them over the first layer of fruit.
Step 9 Add the remainder of the fruit to the pudding bowl. Soak the larger semi-circles of bread in the juice and place them over the fruit in the bowl. Reserve the excess juice in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Step 10 Bring the cling film up and over the bottom of the pudding. Place a smaller plate or saucer on top of the pudding and weigh it down with cans, or another bowl.
Step 11 Chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
Step 12 To remove the pudding for serving, open out the saran wrap. Place a serving plate upside-down on top and flip the pudding over. Remove the saran wrap. Decorate with the additional strawberries and any other fruit of choice. Serve slices of the pudding with leftover juice, and cream.

 

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

Irish American Mom

 

 

 

Blueberry Scones

Blueberries are in season, and I love to bake with these juicy summer berries, which simply burst with flavor when added to rich scones.

Traditional Irish scones dotted with raisins or sultanas come to mind when I think of fruit scones. However, my Dad tells stories of how my Granny mixed wild hurts (bilberries) and blackcurrants through her soda breads and scones during the summer months.

 

Blueberry Scones

A Cup Of Tea And A Buttered Blueberry Scone

Scones are deceptively tricky to get exactly right, especially for an Irish baker trying to create her mother’s pastries in America. Over the past twenty years I have created some rules of scone making to help avoid producing dry, sawdust-like scones.

Although not exactly a rule, I like to use cake flour rather than all-purpose or bread flour.  This may sound strange to most American bakers, but I simply prefer the end product I produce with cake flour – they are closer to the Irish scones of my childhood.

 

Baked Scones on Tray

 

Irish American Mom’s Tips for Perfect Scones:

 

  • Always sift the flour and baking powder together to provide aeration for lighter scones.

 

  • Treat the mixture with gentle care, lifting the flour high, as you rub in the butter.  A soft touch incorporates air and transfers lightness to the scone dough. (When we were children my mother told us to imagine we were faeires baking magic scones. She encouraged us to lift the flour with a faerie light touch.)

 

  • Remember, too much mixing, and kneading will produce dry and tough scones.

 

  • Don’t use too much flour when kneading your dough.

 

  • Avoid pounding the dough with a rolling pin, instead use the palms of your hands to gently press the dough into shape.  To level the scones simply pass the rolling pin lightly over the top.  (The scone making faeries of my childhood used rolling pins with very gently).

 

  • When cutting out the scones, flour the sides of the cutter.  Do not twist the cutter, but push it through the dough firmly, lift and release.

 

  • From the moment the wet ingredients hit the dry, work as quickly as you can.

 

  • Place the scones close together on the baking tray to encourage rising not spreading.

 

  • Never let the uncooked scones stand unbaked.  Get them into the oven as quickly as possible since raising agents start their magical work the moment they meet the first drop of liquid.

 

  • A high temperature is required initially to promote rising of the scones.

Buttered Blueberry Scones

 

And so, here is my recipe for blueberry scones.  I think this is one of my best scones recipes, and is a wonderful variation of my Irish Raisin Tea Scones recipe.  I hope you’ll like them too.  Here is the printable recipe:

 

Blueberry Scones

Serves 12
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Meal type Bread
Region Irish

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4oz butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • sugar (to sprinkle on top of unbaked scones)

Directions

Step 1 Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
Step 2 Cut the butter into one inch pieces, then rub into the flour using a pastry blender, or rub the butter and flour using your fingers, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Step 3 Add the sugar and mix. Add the blueberries and mix gently to disperse them throughout the flour mixture.
Step 4 In a separate bowl or pitcher whisk the eggs and milk together. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the liquid. Reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid mixture to brush on top of the unbaked scones.
Step 5 Mix the wet and dry ingredients together using a large spoon or with your hand. Form a soft-but-not-too-sticky dough. Add some extra flour if the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too dry and not sticking together, add a little more of the egg and milk mixture. Handle the dough gently to avoid bursting the blueberries.
Step 6 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with a little more flour. Knead the dough lightly.
Step 7 Flatten the dough into a large round shape, about an inch-and-a-half high. This can be done with your hands or by lightly rolling the dough with a rolling pin.
Step 8 Use a biscuit cutter to cut out round shapes. Place the scones on a greased baking tray.
Step 9 Brush the top of the scones with the reserved egg and milk mixture. Then sprinkle the top of each scone with a little sugar.
Step 10 Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 400 degrees and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven when the tops are turning a lovely golden color.
Step 11 Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Step 12 To serve cut the scones in two and spread each side with butter and/or jam or jelly. Delicious served slightly warm.

 

Wishing you all happy and successful scone baking – and don’t forget the faeries as you lift the butter and flour between your fingers.

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

Irish American Mom