buttered corn scones

August 8, 2019 Portland, OR, USA


This post was done in partnership with Vermont Creamery, who sponsored this post by providing the ingredients and compensation to make it happen! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own, and thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep Hummingbird High running! I’m especially excited to partner with Vermont Creamery to help spread the word about their new butter line. Legit—their butter is some of the best available. I used their butter in almost every recipe of my upcoming cookbook, and it made every single one taste so much better.


Now that #weeknightbakingbook is finally out of my hands and off to the printers, I’ve been spending my days catching up on everything I’ve put on the backburner and relaxing. But I’ll be honest—although there are errands and doctor’s appointments and email exchanges with my agent and my book’s marketing/PR team, I’m mostly just relaxing.

At first, after two years of nonstop work on both my book and the blog, my relaxing felt odd and kind of… stressful? LOL. But seriously! It was hard to stop myself from busying myself with chores and tasks. Secretly, I think I was also worried that too much idle time on my hands would make me bored, and the lack of stressful deadlines in my life wouldn’t give me structure in my days.


Luckily, that passed quickly. Because it turns out that I have plenty to do even without the crazy deadlines! Admittedly, most of it has been things like catching up with all the friends and family I neglected while working on my book, binge watching Casa de Papel on Netflix, and researching all the best restaurants in Tokyo and Kyoto for our upcoming trip in October (HIT ME UP WITH ANY RECOMMENDATIONS YOU HAVE—it’ll be my first time in Japan, ever!). But these are the kind of low-key, stress-free activities I need to partake in after working on something like my book. Unlike in this blog, where I could easily jump in and fix a recipe, photo, typo whenever I felt like it, I felt like I had just one shot to get it all right in my book. Every decision felt so monumental and permanent. By the end, I was definitely so stressed out and suffering from decision fatigue.


Thankfully, the biggest concern I have these days is figuring out what Erlend and I are going to have for dinner. And because the weather’s been so nice in Portland (the west coast seems to have missed the heat wave that literally affected everybody else), we’ve been spending a lot of time outside grilling. I’ve also been getting way too excited by all the summer corn available at the farmers’ markets; I’ll come home with about ten or so ears of fresh corn, ready to make into salads, appetizers, and scones like this one.


Most people tend to pause on their baking during the hot summer months, and I really don’t blame them—who wants to turn on a hot oven in the 90+ degree heat? Unfortunately, doing so means missing out on all the fresh summer fruit and vegetables that are perfect in pies, cakes, and other pastries. Although berries and stone fruits tend to be the star of the show, I’ve started brainstorming ways to get sweet summer corn into more of my baking recipes since corn can work in both savory and sweet recipes. In particular, you can serve these buttery scones as a side with fresh salted butter and herbs (they’ll taste just like cornbread) or with honey, cream, and jam as a dessert. Just be sure to do so when they’re still warm—they’ll crumble at the slightest touch, with every crumb melting perfectly in your mouth. Enjoy!


Some baker’s notes:
  • This recipe uses two types of butter—Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter, both salted and unsalted. I like using the salted butter to cook with the corn; I feel like it makes the corn extra flavorful. However, in a pinch, you skip buying both varieties and commit to just using one. Both salted and unsalted butter will work in the grilled corn AND the scones recipe below, but if you choose to use salted butter for the scone dough, I recommend reducing the salt quantity from 2 teaspoons to 1½ teaspoons. Because this recipe is mainly BUTTER flavored, it’s especially important to use the best quality butter you can buy. Like Vermont Creamery’s! Their butter is made from just fresh cream, cultures, and salt, never with any artificial flavors or colors—as a result, Vermont Creamery has one of the tastiest butters available, complete with notes of buttermilk and hazelnut. In particular, the new cultured butter featured in this post was fermented for 20 hours then churned to 82% butterfat for a ridiculously creamy texture!

  • I get it, two days to make a scones recipe is a LOT. The reason why I broke this up over a span of two days is because I like to cook fresh corn the day I buy it (the longer you wait, the less sweet the corn will be—this article explains the science behind why), and, mostly, it takes too damn long to grill the corn and bake the scones all in the same day since the corn needs to be at room temperature when added to the scone dough (see my note above). But no worries! There are a ton of options here. If you have all the time in the world, there’s no need to break the recipe up over two days—just grill the corn, let it cool to room temperature, and use in the recipe as instructed. If you don’t even have time to grill the corn, you can skip the step completely. Simply cook the corn in the skillet with the butter as instructed in the recipe below. And finally, if using fresh corn is too time much too, you can use frozen corn (but not canned!) in its place. Simply measure out 1½ (7.5 ounces) cups of corn and start with Step 6 of the Day 1 recipe, with frozen corn in place of the grilled fresh corn.

  • The key to a perfectly crumbly, melt-in-yo-mouth scone is to keep your dairy ingredients as cold as possible and to handle the dough as little as possible. With this recipe, you’ll be getting a sneak peek of one of the techniques in my upcoming book for doing so: the recipe instructs you to pat the dough into a cake pan. This avoids any guesswork about how to form and shape the scones, preventing overhandling and resulting in perfectly shaped scones each time. Just be sure to line your pan with the plastic wrap as instructed by the recipe to prevent the dough from sticking to the pan!

Yield: makes 8 scones
Time: 60 minutes, divided (see baker's notes)
Author: Hummingbird High

Buttered Corn Scones

ingredients:

For the Grilled Corn:
For the Buttered Corn Scones
  • 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (3.75 ounces) fine cornmeal or corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) very cold Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter Unsalted, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) very cold heavy cream
  • 1 very cold large egg

For Finishing
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) very cold heavy cream
  • flaky sea salt

    instructions:

    How to cook Buttered Corn Scones

    Day 1: Prep the Corn!
    Prep Time: <5 minutes
    Work Time: 20 minutes

    1. Heat the grill to medium.
    2. Trim the corn’s silk tassels and peel back a few layers of the husk; however, be sure to leave some of the husk intact to prevent the corn from drying out on the grill. 
    3. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover, and grill for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until the kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. 
    4. When the kernels are tender, peel the remaining husk. Increase the grill’s heat to high and place the peeled corn directly over the heat. Grill, turning occasionally, until charred to your liking. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. 
    5. Once the corn is cool, stand one ear of corn in a large bowl with the skinnier end up. Use a very sharp knife to slice down the cob, removing the kernels as you go. Repeat until all kernels are removed from both ears—you should have around 1½ to 1¾ cups corn kernels. 
    6. Melt 2 tablespoons of the Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter with Sea Salt in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the corn and saute for 5 minutes, until the corn is coated completely in butter. Remove from heat and scrape the corn into a single layer onto a baking sheet. Cool on a wire rack; once cool, tightly cover with plastic wrap. The buttered corn will keep at room temperature overnight; after that, pour into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 more days.
    Day 2: Make the Scones!
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Work Time: 10 minutes
    Bake Time: 20 minutes

    1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 (F). Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with plastic wrap and lightly dust with flour. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the prepared corn in a small bowl.
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low until just combined, about 15 seconds. Add the Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter Unsalted all at once and beat on low until the mixture has the texture of coarse meal, with pea-sized pieces of butter throughout, about 3 minutes. Add the prepped corn and continue to beat on low until incorporated evenly throughout the mixture, about 1 minute more.
    3. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the cream and egg. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the cream mixture into the dry ingredients. Beat until the dough clumps around the paddle and/or sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
    4. Dust your hands and lightly flour a counter. Tip the scone dough out onto the counter and, working quickly, knead the dough once or twice into a rough ball. Place the dough in the center of the prepared cake pan. Dust your hands with flour again, and working quickly once more, lightly pat out the dough so it fills the pan.
    5. Use the plastic wrap to carefully lift the dough out of the pan and onto the counter. Flour the edge of a bench scraper and use it to quarter the dough into 4 even wedges. Cut each wedge in half so you have 8 wedges total. Place the wedges at least three inches apart on the prepared sheet pan. Brush the top of each scone with the remaining ¼ cup cream; sprinkle with each with a few kernels of the reserved corn and flaky sea salt.
    6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the scones are almost doubled in size and lightly browned. Cool the scones on the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms of the scones have set and feel firm to the touch. Serve the scones warm, or at room temperature. The scones can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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