My favorite fruit is strawberries, but this comes with a problem. When strawberries are bad, they are terrible, tart, and tasteless. Luckily, the strawberries sold at my local farmer’s market are the best strawberries you will ever taste. Gaviotas they are called by the farmers at Harry’s Berries, but they should be called Perfection. These are the most incredible strawberries I have ever tasted.
So naturally, I had to turn them into scones. Only logical progression, right?
Gaviotas are incredibly sweet on their own and have a very strong flavor, so I felt that my usual scone recipe would have a too marked taste itself to meld with the strawberries. The two would be battling for supremacy, not enhancing each other’s deliciousness. Instead, I chose to mellow the scone’s flavor using a mascarpone cheese base and adding vanilla bean paste for supporting the Gaviotas.
Mascarpone is a mild Italian cream cheese reminiscent of butter or British clotted cream (that wonderful spread that improves almost any scone); using it as the binding agent and fat source in the dough made for a wonderfully creamy and delicate scone. The scone’s interior will literally melt in your mouth as the essence of the strawberries permeates every bite.
Strawberries–or at least this variety–are an interesting fruit to bake with. Most berries seem to become almost more tart and brightened once heated, but these strawberries seemed to mellow. Maybe it was the mascarpone and vanilla’s influences, but these strawberry scones were not strawberry-candy-esque, but rather the summer British dessert of Strawberries and Cream turned into a scone.
These are perfect for a sophisticated, feminine occasion like a baby shower tea party. Do not top with anything other than the thinnest layer of clotted cream. The scones are moist enough to not need a topping, and an additional flavor will overwhelm the soft strawberries.
Strawberry Vanilla Scones
- 200 g all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
50 g ultrafine baking sugar
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or 1 scraped vanilla bean
200 g mascarpone
1/4 cup water