blue is the deeply slumbered cast of a world imbued by winter. the morning hits, the temperature dips, and fire a glazes the horizon. i spend an obscene amount of time pondering this season, perhaps due in part to the romantic/not so romantic amount of time spent indoors. winter is an all out event, it would seem.
the longer the sun stretches, the sharper the punctuation of light etching morning into the window. an etching i reference for the remaining day. a far cry from perfect, not always focused, but at the very least generated with a certain zealousness that occasionally i am told is infectious. yes, we need more of this. if we love plants? more time spent growing them. if we like to read? more time spent digesting the words. if we like to cook? more time spent embracing the kitchen. do we see room for change? more time spent towards impact and fruition.
i’ve been told, both endearingly and sardonically (quite the pair, i know), that i am a morning person. in observation, i awake with a certain gumption and desire to let the day in. this doesn’t necessarily cease in the winter, but it slows down sometimes. i feel a mild sluggishness in my blood when the sun rises slowly and the ice has pinned all the foliage down to the earth.
a waft of toasted cornmeal ignites a renewal in any waning faith. spread out in a wide skillet, stirred often over moderate heat, the cornmeal becomes sweet and amber hued; the basis for a recent favorite scone of mine. a scone that seems to tempt the coldest of mornings from hibernation, with its craggy, informal composition, sweet-pucker bursts of meyer lemon, and juicy pops of blueberry. something i can travel with, enjoy often, and give to others. a winter breakfast to keep sanity intact, passion on point, and preserve your integrity as a morning person.
- 5 ounces dried blueberries
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbl baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- finely grated zest of 2 meyer lemons
- 6 tbl unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes and chilled
- ½ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk + 1 tbl water (egg wash)
- coarse sugar, for sprinkling
- preheat the oven to 350 degrees. line a large baking sheet with parchment. in a medium glass bowl cover the dried blueberries with hot water and allow to stand for 15 minutes. drain well and pat dry.
- in a medium skillet, toast the cornmeal, over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool sufficiently. whisk in the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and lemon zest. cut in the cubes of butter until the mixture resembles small peas (i still use my hands for this). add the blueberries.
- in a small, separate bowl, combine the milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened; the dough will be on the moist and sticky side.
- scoop rough ¼ cup rounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart. brush their tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. bake scones for 30 minutes, or until golden on top. cool on a wire rack before serving. these will easily keep for a week of breakfast, best served room temperature or warmed (perhaps with jam? cream?).