Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mrs. McCarthy’s Award-Winning Strawberry Scones

If you are a fan of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown books, or the TV series based upon these books, then you are no doubt familiar with Mrs. McCarthy, and her award-winning strawberry scones. This is not Mrs. M.’s recipe, of course, because Mrs. M. is fictional. This is, however, my version of what I think her award-winning scones would be. They are flavorful, crunchy on the outside, and with a tender crumb on the inside. They are versatile (as Mrs. M. would want) working equally well with fresh, seasonal strawberries, or dried strawberries, if the fresh ones aren’t in season. Mrs. M. would want her strawberries straight from the vine — the very best local berries available.

If you are a fan of the series, or even if not, you must try these delicious scones.

Mrs. McCarthy’s Award-Winning Strawberry Scones

 2 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp. orange or lemon zest
1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries OR 
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup heavy cream

Heavy Cream
Sanding Sugar (All I had was pink, Mrs. M. would not have approved!)

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. If using fresh
strawberries, allow to drain on a paper towel-lined plate while you prepare the dough.

In the work bowl of a food processor combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, and lemon zest.  Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal; empty mixture into a large bowl. (If using dried strawberries, add them now and toss to coat.)

In a small mixing bowl whisk together egg, cream, and vanilla flavoring.  When thoroughly blended, pour it over the flour mixture in the large bowl and fold until it just comes together.  Add 1-3 more teaspoons of cream, if needed.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. If using fresh strawberries, scatter them on top and, with floured hands, fold the dough over the berries and knead lightly 4-5 times. Press into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cut out rounds with a 2" biscuit cutter and arrange 2 inches apart on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Gather scraps together and cut out additional scones.

Brush tops of scones with cream and sprinkle liberally with sanding sugar. Bake scones, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving.

Makes 8-10

You’ll find another British scone recipe in these Royal Baby Scones.

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Linda said...

These scones look perfect and delicious. I made strawberry scones one time and they got too moist, so I think the dried strawberries would be just the ticket.

Scribbler said...

I loved the Father Brown series, and always wanted a few of those "award winning scones" before the show was over. I just bought some berries yesterday, so I think these are in order. I will let you know how they turn out!

sandy said...

these look delicious!

Amy Johnson said...

Oh, these look so yummy!

Ann said...

YES, they look scrumptious and the strawberries look so good at the market.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pattie, these look perfectly scrummy (and I know scones!). I haven't read that series, but will look into it now. Thanks for the tip!

The Lazy Gastronome said...

These look and sound like delicious scones! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner Party.

Rachel M said...

This is possibly a dumb question, but what do you have in the middle of the scones...is that whipped cream?

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Rachel, that is not a stupid question. It is clotted cream. Scones are served with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Eclectic Musician said...

Actually Pattie and Rachel, since the character of Mrs. McCarthy is Irish, it's more likely she would have used freshly whipped double/heavy cream. Clotted cream is very uncommon in Ireland. It's very much a regional specialty of the West Country in England.