June 1, 2010

The Breakfast Book


Blueberry Blueberry Orange Scones

I've kept it no secret on these pages that I love breakfast, so it will be no surprise that my favorite cookbook of all time is Marion Cunningham's The Breakfast Book. When I was younger and poorer, I checked out The Breakfast Book from the local library as many times as was allowable before being required to place it back in circulation. Reluctantly I'd leave it until the next weekly trip to the library, hoping all week long that no one else had borrowed it so I could begin "owning" the book over again.
Last year I found my very own signed first edition copy of The Breakfast Book in a used book shop on Clement Street in San Francisco. It is one of my treasures.

I love The Breakfast Book for several reasons:
  • This is where I learned to shirr eggs. There is nothing as comforting as a shirred egg in the morning. As a matter of fact, there's nothing that was ever done with the simple egg that is not in this book. At least I'm pretty sure.
  • Marion Cunningham, the modern Fanny Farmer, advocates having cookies, pies and cake for breakfast. There's a whole chapter on the subject in this book.
  • Charming "antique" quotes are sprinkled throughout the volume, such as, "The breakfast table is not a bulletin board for the curing of horrible dreams and depressing symptoms, but a place where a bright keynote for the day is struck." Prof. B. G. Jeffries, M.D., Family Receipts: The Household Guide or Domestic Encyclopedia (1902)
The recipe for these Blueberry Blueberry (for the dried and fresh berries in them) Orange Scones has me with its tender crumb, beautiful lavender glaze and subtle orange undertones. These scones would be so pretty served at a bridal or baby shower, and are a lovely weekend-at-home treat too. While not in The Breakfast Book, this recipe certainly has been informed by my years of baking from the book. In actuality, the recipe is a made-up concoction pulled from bits of various recipes over the years. I think Marion Cunningham would approve.

Blueberry Blueberry Orange Scones

This recipe makes 8 small scones, an appropriate amount for My Baby and me to consume over a couple of mornings. If you'd prefer 16 small or 8 large scones, simply double the ingredients, except for the leavening, the measurements for which I've included in the recipe.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (2 1/2 teaspoons for larger batch)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
zest of 1/2 large orange
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup dried blueberries
2/3 cup cold buttermilk, plus 2 Tablespoons additional for brushing tops

Glaze
8 blueberries, thawed and smashed, big pieces of skin and pulp removed with fingers
Juice and zest of 1/2 orange
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Mix first seven ingredients (flours through orange zest) together in mixing bowl. Add butter, rubbing with fingertips while tossing in the flour until mixture resembles coarse meal, trying for nothing larger than pea-sized butter bits. Toss in frozen and dried blueberries. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring until moist clumps form. On a well-floured surface, turn dough out and knead briefly to bind. Gently pat dough into a 1" thick square. Cut square into four quarters. Cut each of the four squares on the diagonal, creating 8 triangular wedges. Place wedges on parchment lined baking sheet and brush tops with additional buttermilk. Space them about 2" apart, as they do expand. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool ten minutes.

While scones are cooling, whisk smashed blueberry juice, melted butter, powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth, adding additional orange juice drop by drop until glaze is thin enough to brush over scone tops, but substantial enough to make a thick glaze on the warm scones. Serve warm or room temperature.

21 comments:

  1. I love to have scones with a nice cup of tea. I have the tea, now all I need is a few of your delicious scones!

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  2. One of my dearest friends adores scones. She would love these. I'll have to see if I can find the Breakfast book on half.com. Happy Tuesday!

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  3. I put on at least 1 pound just by looking at your pictures,thanks for sharing

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  4. when you said she advocates cake and pie for breakfast, she became my new hero!!!
    those scones look toooo good....
    thanks so much for sharing, now if we could just share the scones....yummmmmm
    Dennis

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  5. I like your story about the cookbook and those glazed blueberry scones look delish. They would be great with my cup of tea now. Sigh, wish I could reach into the screen and grab one.

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  6. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. These scones look terrific.

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  7. Lovely post, and those scones, YUM!

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  8. So cute that you kept checking out the book over and over again. I'll have to keep my eye out for it. Delicious looking scones!

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  9. I love the finds from used book stores! I'm also addicted to homemade scones and love the berry ones so this is calling my name... very sweetly.

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  10. Oh, they look and sound so good! I'll have to try these!

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  11. That recipe book sounds like something I need to have. I love a good breakfast dish. I'm ashamed to say that I have never shirred an egg. Now I need to go look it up! Thanks for the tasty recipe.

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  12. oooh I gotta try this recipe :) I've been making blueberry scones and I've always managed to crush the berries and it leaves a moss green tint on the baked scones. YUCK! However... Love this glaze, it would so work for my heavyhandedness and cover up the flaws. THANK YOU!

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  13. Marion Cunningham is one of my favourite cookbook authors, and I just can't say enough good things about everything I've ever made from The Breakfast Book (especially the cornmeal-rye pancakes... they're amazing).
    BTW, have you ever read The Supper Book?

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  14. What a pretty glaze! These would be perfect for tea with the girls!

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  15. I had a book like that that I took out of the library for months and months when I was a teenager. I do have a copy now but not a lovely signed hardback like you got. The scones look good and, hey there must be one fruit portion in there lol!

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  16. These look great. I love how the glaze calls for 8 blueberries. That made me smile.

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  17. If you put a tray around us and our friends, they'll be gone in 20 minutes. That's just how it goes!

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  18. Oh how I love scones. This looks like a great recipe!

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  19. wow, those look wonderful! ornge and bluberry, what a perfect marriage. ;-) I love the rest of your recipes too. I'm not sure what I'm going to try first! How fun to end up living and enjoying the country, I wish! Have you read Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral"? Great book! She went from N.Y. living to a completly self sustaining farm in the Appalaician Mts.

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  20. Oh my!! These look absolutely wonderful. My daughter recently discovered scones and loves anything with a glaze... blueberry makes it all that much better!

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