I had a few things I meant to do before we left for a few days in The Hunter [Valley] — I meant to pack the ‘good camera’ (my trusty DSLR) and I meant to bake a batch of rhubarb scones. I envisioned us sitting on the deck in the windy mornings sipping coffee and nibbling on flaky pastry. Alas, neither one of my intentions came to pass but I was sure to make a batch of scones upon our return.
As it turned out, the scones weren’t missed (my camera, that’s another story! Note to self.). We had plenty to occupy our morning coffee, including gazing over a wide expanse of brilliant green broken up by olive groves and eucalyptus trees. After weeks of hot weather the temperatures dipped during our first night and we woke up to the sounds of wild birds and roosters, a cool breeze flowing through the window. On our first afternoon we watched kangaroos hop down to the cows’ pond — a novelty for we Americans — and checked often for eggs at the chicken coop. There was something the weekend reminded me of … oh yes, the many years spent weekending in Sonoma County or West Marin, hearing owls hooting at night and waking up in the woods. Nowadays, ensconced in peaceful suburbia, we still hear a plethora of birds throughout the day and I’ve spotted the occasional possum lurking in the backyard but there is nothing like getting out into the silence of the “country”.
I cooked a few meals in the open-air kitchen — simple fare like grilled salmon, scrambled fresh eggs, white beans and spinach — and we spent an afternoon driving through vineyards under the puffiest clouds. I truly love the coast but there was something about the open expanses and little valleys cut by winding streams that really called to me. Forever missing Northern California, we find little pockets of it elsewhere, and are grateful.
A few more photos from our weekend and the recipe after the jump.
I used the technique of folding the dough several times into a rectangle and then a square to give flaky layers but between you and me I couldn’t tell much of a difference. Next time I’ll just do the simpler method of patting out the dough and slicing the scones.
Makes about 8-10 scones.
2 1/4 cups spelt flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
4 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Heat oven to 400 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the yogurt, honey, vanilla, and egg.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients and use a pastry cutter to cut it into the mixture until the pieces are the size of peas. Add the wet ingredients and fold with a spatula until just combined. Gently fold the rhubarb into the dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Knead the dough a few times, using extra flour if necessary. Pat into a rectangle and then cut into triangles. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, place in the oven, and bake for about 20-25 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove, place on a wire baking rack, and let cool to room temperature.