One of my all time favourite summer memories was when I had just graduated university and my best friend and I took a trip to Montreal. We talked about bagels and boys, old and new loves, what we did and didn't learn in our respective universities, our plans for the future and everything else in between. I remember when we got there in the evening, we had dinner at Frites Alors! and with it, some local beer. I remember ordering a beer called Éphémère flavoured with cassis. I loved the name .. meaning ephemeral, or fleeting, just like the summer and just like our time in Montreal. That was was 7 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I guess some things only appear to be ephemeral, but in reality leave lasting indentations in our lives, and in our hearts.
So many things about this season are fleeting, the most obvious being the summer berry season. While apple season seems never ending, strawberry season comes and goes in a flash. Yesterday, I went with my sister to pick up her CSA share and the lovely lady at the booth handed us a basket of berries saying "Theses are the last of the season and they're the best." And so they were. We ate a handful as appetizers on our way to dinner. The last of the season? Didn't I just see them appear in the market? Ontario strawberries are fading fast, so make the most of them while they're here. I certainly did: straight up and not even washed, chopped up and thrown into bowls of oatmeal, making compote and crumbles ... lost of crumbles.
I also made these scones. I'm usually not a scone person, but I wanted to bake up a little treat to while away the early morning hours of a summer weekday morning -- something that I definitely savour. These scones are very easy to prepare and have a nice crumbly, tender texture. The little sprinking of sugar on top gives them a nice crunch as well. I used a recipe from Irene over at Confessions of a Tart and it was nice and simple. I added a bunch of fresh thyme, just because, and it gave it nice little something extra. This recipe is totally modifiable to whatever berries come across your market. It's also go no eggs in it, so it's easily made vegan by using vegan margarine instead of butter. So go play with the berries while they're here. Don't let them get away!
Fresh Strawberry Scones
adapted from Confessions of a Tart
makes 12 tiny mini sconelettes
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of cold butter
1/3 cup of soy milk mixed with juice of ¼ of a lemon
1/2 cup of chopped strawberries
a few sprigs of thyme, leaves plucked
1. Sift together the flours, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
2. Add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingers until you get a sandy, course meal. Add the strawberries, thyme and all but one tablespoon of the soy mixture.
3. Stir very gently until the fixture forms a sticky dough. On a floured surface, with floured hands, turn out the dough. Knead a few times (no more than 5) and form into a circular disc. At this point, you could cut out 4 big scones, 8 small ones, or 12 mini sconelettes.
4. Place you scones on a baking sheet and brush with the remaining soy mixture. Sprinkle with the reserved 2 teaspoons of sugar.
5. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until they get lightly brown and become fragrant. Best served warm.