There are two days each year that a person can comfortably sit outside and enjoy a meal in Fairbanks. Once in the spring when it warms up enough and the mosquitoes have not come out yet, and again in the fall after the mosquitoes have left and it has not yet snowed. Of course when we first moved to Fairbanks you could find us drinking coffee on the deck well after the first snow fall. I guess that novelty wore off quick! Two weeks ago we had that one perfect morning, the Sandhill Cranes were flying overhead and we couldn't resist taking our scones outside.Although I had not planned to make these scones for that one special day, they turned out to be the perfect thing. Things were looking pretty sparse in the kitchen the morning I made these scones. Literally, seven strawberries left in the package from a salad the night before and no dairy products with the exception of our precious half and half for coffee, and some yogurt.
I grew up eating strawberry shortcake on little spongy cakes from the grocery store and honestly must say I never cared for the stuff especially topped with syrupy strawberries and cool whip. It always reminded me of a strawberry Twinkie. I didn't realize how wonderful Strawberry Shortcake could be until I moved a little further south where it was served on a cream biscuit with real whip cream. If you have ever eaten strawberry shortcake on a biscuit, that is exactly what this tastes like. If there had been some heavy cream in the house it would have taken everything in my not to whip some up and spread it on these scones!
Strawberry Shortcake Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze
7-8 Medium sized strawberries about 1/2 cup, sliced
1 vanilla bean cut in half
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup yogurt (I used whole milk yogurt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place sliced strawberries in a small bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Scrape the seeds from 1/2 of the vanilla bean and mix in, set aside. Make sure you do this first so the strawberries have time to set and release their juices.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture (see this post for more detailed instructions). Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt, vanilla extract, remaining seeds from second half of vanilla bean and large egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and stir gently to just combine. The dough will look dry and crumbly, and there may be some unincorporated flour at the bottom of the bowl. Using your hands, squeeze and press the dough into a round mass. Divide dough in half. Place one half of the dough on a floured board and press the dough together flattening to about 1/2 inch about 6-7 inches round. Try not to work the dough any more than needed. There may be some excess flour that is not absorbed, it does not matter. Remove the strawberries from the bowl reserving and leaving as much juice in the bowl as possible. Place strawberries on top of the flattened dough layer and cover with the second layer of dough. Gently work the dough to the outer edges pressing all three layers together attempting to seal up some of the edges, don't worry if some of the strawberries stick out.
Cut circle into 6 wedges. Place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-16 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
Drizzle with Vanilla Bean Glaze.
For the Glaze:
Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to the bowl with strawberry juice. You can add a little milk or half and half to thin if you don't have enough reserved juice.