Blackberry Scones with Cinnamon Basil

It’s hot summer time here in the South and what says it better than one of those familiar green cartons filled with juicy, freshly picked blackberries from the farm down the road!

I knew what I wanted to make with these berries months ago when I planted a cinnamon basil plant in my garden.

When I found this at a local greenhouse the smell and flavor absolutely blew me away! Yes, there was a hint of cinnamon and the predominant taste of basil, but there’s also a tang of something else…spearmint? I haven’t pinned it down yet. This I have to say though – it ROCKS Blackberry Scones.

I wanted a moist and buttery scone base, reminiscent of the ones my friends make for their coffee shop in Post Falls, Idaho. I think I nailed it the first time. Whew! :D You see, my sister Sage is THE scone maker in our family, so I was rather worried that mine would flop…at least the first time around. You just don’t mess with someone else’s forte, right?

Blackberry and Cinnamon Basil Scones

1 1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. sugar

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. sea salt

1/4 t. baking soda

1 1/4 c. cold butter (EDIT July 2013: I’ve had a couple comments recently about this being too much butter, but it’s been so long since I’ve made the recipe that I don’t remember what I did, or if it was a typo. I intent to make them again as soon as my cinnamon basil gets big enough and I will adjust the recipe if needed. Until then, please use your discretion on whether to put 1/4 c. or 1 and 1/4 c. into your scones. :)

1/2 c. greek yogurt

1/2 c. cream or half and half

2 t. lemon zest

2-3 T. fresh cinnamon basil

1 1/2 c. fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the flours, sugar, powder, soda and salt.

Thinly shred cinnamon basil with a sharp knife.

Add the basil and lemon zest to the dry ingredients.

Stir to combine and cut in butter.

Don’t worry about a fine crumble, larger bits of butter are just fine.

Add rinsed blackberries…

Stir to coat, then combine cream and yogurt and pour over mixture. Mix lightly with a wooden spoon until it’s barely sticking together. Turn out on a well floured bread board and carefully, so as not to squish the berries too much, knead into a ball. Press into a 1 inch thick, round disk.

Cut into ten pieces and place on a floured baking sheet or stone, leaving space for expansion.

Brush with cream and sprinkle with course sugar before placing in a hot oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. If in doubt, it’s better to pull them out of the oven sooner rather than later because they will keep cooking a bit on the counter.

Definitely pull a hot one off and savor it one bite at a time.

Featuring another glass plate from Tera’s collection. :D Love it!

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and fresh blackberries for dessert…

Or with coffee and cream for tea time…

Or just keep eating them right off the pan for a snack.

Blackberries Are Ripe and Ready For…

…Ice Cream!
You knew I would say that didn’t you? Well, with temps as high as 97 degrees and a heat index of 105, ice cream is all I will be posting about for a while. :D
I’m kidding, I’m kidding!
Here’s the deal, I found this amazing looking recipe in the Midwest Living magazine for Black-Raspberry-Chip Gelato and I absolutely had to try it with the blackberries Tera and I picked.
Little side note here…
That was so much fun! We went to the First Fruits Berry Farm here in Logan County and picked 21 pounds in just a couple hours – and they were only $2.50 a pound! I figured out we could double our money for the rates they sell at the farmer’s market or make 30 dollars an hour, so it’s well worth the picking! Especially since First Fruits is like a well groomed park and the bushes are thornless. Wow! Are we spoiled or what?! Tera did a blog post on our morning Blackberry Venture.
So, back to the ice cream! ( in a roundabout way…)
It had been a long day. After picking berries, I froze several pounds of them before Anna and I left to clean a house. We didn’t get home until 6:00, so we had a light dinner. I told everyone they could fill up on this delicious ice cream I was going to make that evening.

Well, after looking over the recipe, I figured it would take about 14.325 hours to make this stuff! Ice cream for breakfast anyone? (Ummm…actually, I don’t ask that question out loud, because everyone would reply with a hardy affirmative. :D ) I couldn’t let everyone down now, so I did what I just about always do, I “tweaked” (a mighty BIG tweak this time!) the recipe to suit my oh-so-impatient needs.

Lots of people wonder how I do this tweaking business, so I’ll give you a little demonstration.
Here’s their recipe –
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. finely shredded lime peel
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
2 cups whipping cream
3 cups fresh black raspberries, blackberries, red raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup peach preserves
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh black raspberries, blackberries, red raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate or white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped or 1 cup semisweet
1 3-oz. jar macadamia nuts, chopped

  

First of all, it calls for making a custard with the egg yolks, part of the milk and sugar. This step takes way too long – then you have to cool it completely before you actually start the ice cream. Most of the ice cream we make doesn’t call for eggs at all, so I cut that step out. Whew!
Next, they call for cooking the berries and mashing before blending. Well, for one, I don’t like the idea of cooking all the nutrients and antioxidants out of my fresh berries! Second, it’s another cook and cool completely process. Skip that! I blended the berries in the food processor with the peach jam (I thought that was an interesting addition and worth keeping), before adding lime zest and pouring it through a sieve to remove all the seeds and zest. Voila! Done.
 
 
 
Milk and cream definitely isn’t a problem! Especially, when it’s local, raw, Jersey milk. We are spoiled!
 
 
 
Mix it up and it’s ready to churn.
 There! That took about 15 minutes.
Some friends of mine gave me their electric ice cream maker, so I did a consumer test on both my old maker and the new one to see which one I liked better – the Ultrex or the Cuisinart.
 
Ultrex
Cuisinart
 
The Ultrex was definitely faster. In 12 minutes, the ice cream was almost done.
 
While the Cuisinart still had about 15 minutes to go…
 
Now the fun part. Chocolate! Uh huh!
 
 
I used Mauna Loa dark chocolate covered macadamia nuts.
 
 
And my new very favorite, available in the US, dark chocolate which, of course, is from Belgium.
There are only a few reasons I will even enter a Walmart store and this is one of them.
These goodies get folded into the ice cream along with a couple cups of fresh berries. The recipe says to chop the berries. I must agree on this one, since I didn’t and they were a bit… large.
 
 
You might want to freeze this a bit longer, or you might want to do soft serve. We did…both. Shhh…
 
 
Sarah’s Blackberry Dark Chocolate Macadamian Nut Ice Cream
 
3 cups fresh blackberries
2 tsp. finely shredded lime peel
1/4 cup peach preserves
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
 
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh  blackberries
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
12 oz. dark chocolate covered macadamia nuts, chopped