Saturday, August 23, 2014

Peach Pie Scones

Summer is not over yet. Not quite. To embrace that notion we are going camping and hiking this weekend. So what if the low in the mountains is 35 degrees. It's still summer and I will not be stopped. My greatest camping revelation came when I realized the awesome food that can be made on a camp stove, grill, or over a fire.

Our go to backcountry camping meal is peanut vegetable curry noodles. Coconut milk, red curry paste, peanut butter, honey, and soy sauce over rice noodles and chopped fresh veggies. It's heaven after a day of hiking. With car camping the sky's the limit. Tonight we will dine on buffalo chicken quesadillas over the grill and black forest smores roasted in foil in the fire to make everything warm and gooey. Tomorrow to give us energy to climb Huron Peak we will enjoy these peach pie scones. The scones I make before we leave and warm them on the grill at camp. They give you a good reason to get out of your warm sleeping bag.

Given how wonderful peaches are right now, I'm consuming on average about three a day. While peaches in August are best consumed fresh and unadulterated, they also make for great desserts and pastries. These scones highlight the peach in all its glory. A flaky buttermilk, butter, and nutmeg spiced dough encases peaches sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Right out of the oven they can't be beat but they are still delicious rewarmed.

Peach Pie Scones
Makes 10, adapted from Joy the Baker

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg 
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 peach, sliced thin
1/4 cup buttermilk for brushing
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (if you don't have parchment, you can just grease the pans).

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. With a pastry cutter or your fingers, add the butter to the flour and break up until a coarse consistency develops.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to combine. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 15 times.

Roll dough out to a square approximately 12" x 10" and about 1/2" thick. Brush half the square with buttermilk and arrange peach slices in a single layer on the buttermilk side. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon and sugar. Fold the empty side of the dough over the peach side pressing gently together.

Cut dough into 10 squares. Brush tops with buttermilk and last half of the cinnamon sugar. Using a spatula move scones to the baking sheet and bake 15-18 minutes.


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