Thursday, 11 September 2014

Of autumn, woods and blackberries

Autumn silently arrives. Well, to be true, here in Middle-Europe it's not so silently, as the rain crackled against the window glasses for most of the summer. But it arrives. And with it the most various food selection of the year.

Not only the farmers reap their harvests of vegetables and fruits. Also forests burst with nuts, seeds, berries and mushrooms. Squirrels begin to fill their lairs and so could we. If only these delicacies wouldn't be too tasty to store!
Blackberry hedge in Vienna Woods
Our everyday (or rather once in a while ;-)) jogging trail leads us into the Vienna Woods, where on every edge of every path the shiny red of wild blackberry bushes catches your eye. 
But also a lot of black ripe berries speckle the wonderful image. No consideration needed, to bring a bag next day and lo and behold, a few minutes later enough ripe berries are picked to make an early-autumn-dish.
Ripe blackberries in Vienna Woods

Here is our attempt on baking scones:
(Truth be told, we never tasted original Anglo-Saxon scones. But there are similar pastries all over Europe. There is even an Austrian version called “Pogatscherln”, but it is usually salty and with greaves.)

Scallion-Blackberry-Scones IngredientsServes 2:
1 handful of chopped scallion leaves
260g flour
½ teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground cumin/caraway
1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder
110g butter
100ml buttermilk
1 handful of blackberries

Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Sieve the flour with baking powder into a bowl and mix it with sugar, salt and the chopped scallion. Add small pieces of butter and squash it with your fingers. Pour in the buttermilk, leave 1 tablespoon for later. Knead gently into a rough dough, it doesn't have to be smooth.
Flatten the dough to about 2cm thickness and slice it into pieces of your choice (if you want to keep breaking with traditions ;-). We chose triangles). Put the pieces onto a sheet pan covered with baking paper and press the blackberries into the dough. As deep as you can manage without squashing them. Finally brush the scones with the remaining buttermilk and bake for 15-20 minutes.

We love to pepper them with roughly grated hard sheep cheese, fresh and hot out of the oven. It harmonises perfectly with the sourness of the wild blackberries. Actually, we best like the scones still hot, even as a main dish.

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