Lingonberry Spice Scones

One of the best things about living in Alaska is the plethora of wild berries: raspberries, blueberries, high-bush cranberries, and lingonberries, among others. It’s truly one of my favorite times of year, when I get to go out and spend time picking berries–avoiding the spiders and keeping an eye out for bears, etc. When the high-bush cranberries start to turn red, I know it’s time to get out and start picking. By themselves, the high-bush cranberries are truly awful. They smell like sweat socks and don’t taste much better. But thrown together into a tangy, vinegary sauce, they are great on meat. But that’s a different story. These scones are not made with sweat-sock berries, but with the other kind of cranberry Alaska delivers in droves come the end of the year: lingonberries.

Phew, I hear some of you saying. That whole, sweat sock think wasn’t getting  you very excited, was it?

Well, rest assured. These scones are made with sweet, tangy, explosion in your mouth lingonberries. By the way, working with berries like these, which can bleed when popped and will discolor your scones, can be best done when the berries are frozen. I pick the berries in fall, clean and freeze them so I have them whenever I want them. But I also much prefer to freeze soft berries like raspberries purchased from the store before throwing them into a scone dough. However, if you like the swirls of dye and colors in your scones, then don’t worry about using frozen berries, fresh is perfectly fine!

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Yield: 20 medium scones
Time: 60 minutes (includes 30 minutes freezing time)

Ingredients:

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup lingonberries (or chopped cranberries)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped and chilled
3/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used Fage, full fat)
1/4 cup half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream + more as needed and for brushing, if desired
coarse sugar for sprinkling

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup half and half.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and spices.
  3. Add chopped butter and work in with a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers.
  4. Add the lingonberries (or cranberries) and mix with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the Greek yogurt, vanilla, and half and half mixture.
  6. Add whipping cream as needed, about 1 cup, until you have a dry dough that barely comes together. Give the dough one or two kneads if necessary.
  7. Pat into a log about 1/2 inch high, and cut into 20 scones. Space out on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1-2 inches apart. Brush with whipping cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
  8. Freeze for 30 minutes (or longer). While they freeze, preheat the oven to 425F.
  9. Bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.

 

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