Peppered Strawberry Scones

According to Cyrus, this is the best thing I ever baked. Well, I am flattered. A bit insulted on behalf of my other bakes (at least the successful ones), but still mostly flattered. The man loves scones, what can I do? – Yes, I know: Make some!

I came across this particular recipe watching a baking show on the internet when I was sick. The idea of adding pepper to the strawberries and dehydrating them before use sounded intriguing enough to me to try it out for myself and I must say the slightly sweet and peppery combination is certainly as unusual as it is delicious.

Without the strawberries, the recipe also provides you with a good basic recipe for scones that may easily be varied. Skip the sugar for savory scones.

Sanni

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Ingredients:

  • 400 to 500 grams of fresh strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon of Sichuan or mountain pepper (depending on your preference; Sichuan pepper has a bit of a citrusy aroma, whereas mountain pepper has a fruity/sweetish note and a hotter finish)
  • 250 to 300 grams of strong flour (German type 550)
  • 1 packet of baking powder
  • 60 grams of finely granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 90 grams of cold butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • ca. 50 to 75 ml of milk

Preparation:

  1. Wash and dry the strawberries, remove the caps and cut into halves.
  2. Crush the pepper in a mortar (between medium to fine). In a bowl, mix with the strawberries.
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or an oven-proof permanent baking mat. Place the strawberries onto the baking tray with the cut sides facing up.
  4. Put into the oven at approx. 95 degrees Celsius (fan) and dry for approximately 90 to 100 minutes. The strawberries should loose most of their liquid during the process but should not burn. Check regularly and turn down the temperature should you notice that the sides become too dark. Let cool down after taking the tray out of the oven.
  1. Mix the flour (start with 250 grams), the baking powder, the sugar and the salt in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter and rub with the flour until you have a crumble.
  2. Add the egg and start kneading, bit by bit add just enough milk for the ingredients to become integrated. If the dough should become too sticky, add a bit more flour.
  3. With the back side of a plastic of silicone spatula, remove the dehydrated strawberries from the parchment paper. Gently fold into the dough. Do not knead much after this as the remaining liquid of the strawberries will otherwise change the color of the dough and turn it too soggy. Add a bit more flour to absorb the added liquid.
  4. On a baking mat or a floured surface, roll out the dough to a circle, approx. 1 cm thick. Then cut into 8 same-sized wedges.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the wedges on the tray. Leave enough space between the wedges as they will rise.
  6. Bake for approx. 15 to 20 minutes until golden-brown.
  7. Take out of the oven and let cool down before enjoying with butter, clotted cream or ricotta cheese – or simply pure.

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