Every summer I stock my freezer with as many blueberries as I can pick. I have a little routine in July, when the berries are heavy on the branches and the sun beats down, even the summer I had a July baby, I couldn’t be deterred. Always with winter in the back of my mind, I count on those blueberries to see me through the winter blues.
I get up early, setting the automatic timer on the coffee pot, so all I have to do is throw on some clothes and fill my cup before I’m out the door to a friend’s blueberry patch. Set high on the hill above Naches, the warm morning air combined with the sweeping views of orchards and desert hills make for the loveliest experience. I stuff gallon ziplock bags in my pockets and move slowly down the rows, filling the bags, leaving them on the ground as I go. The time passes quickly as the morning heats up but this little summer routine is one of my life’s simplest pleasures.
My goal is always to have 50 pounds stored in the freezer by the end of the brief harvest. This will ensure we have plenty of berries for smoothies and crisp, muffins and our favorite Saturday morning breakfast; blueberry oatmeal scones. The sweet tart berries are the perfect antidote to the grey winter days in January and I’m always so glad to have a little bite of summer in the dead of winter.
Blueberry Oatmeal Scones:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature, cubed
- 1 heaping cup of fresh or frozen blueberries (any fruit will do, you could substitute strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or cranberries)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tbsp. raw sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, clean hands are a great alternative. Add berries to flour mixture and mix gently.
Whisk buttermilk, egg and vanilla together in a small bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture into flour gently mixing just until dough forms.
Flour hands and place dough on a well-floured work surface. Gently knead twice just to form into a ball. Pat into an 8-inch circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut dough into eight even wedges. Place wedges on prepared baking sheet, leaving a little room between the scones. Brush tops lightly with additional buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake 12-14 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on wire rack.