This post was originally published here on May 8, 2015. I’ve updated the photos and text to showcase just how delicious these miniature scones really are! Enjoy!
I have a mega soft spot in my heart for fresh rhubarb. I can’t resist those slender stalks and crimson hues. In fact, just take a peak inside my refrigerator at any point between the months of April and June, and you’ll consistently find rhubarb lining the shelves.
I’m hoping to get into some more savory applications for rhubarb this Spring, but in the meantime, I’m happy to be incorporating it into all sorts of baked goods. It’s tart bite makes it ideal for everything from cakes to pies to scones. And rhubarb is even good in cocktails, as I happily discovered last year.
Also, anyone else totally digging Springtime baking right now? It seems so light and easy. Pretty much the exact opposite of how I feel about Christmas baking, which usually leaves me in a sweaty puddle of anxiety and self loathing (how many Santa cookies did I really just eat?). I can’t fully explain it. All I know is that I want to fit in as much baking as possible before it becomes way too hot to use my oven.
These Mini Rhubarb and Jasmine Tea Cream Scones have brunch written all over them. They would be perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day. I love that they are miniature, because that means either (a) eating one won’t fill you up so you can comfortably enjoy the rest of your meal, or (b) you can eat three of them! Both scenarios have happened to me. And both are likely to occur again in the future. This is real life.
The tea is a fun addition that makes these scones feel extra “Springy” to me. I stir some into the dough. Then sprinkle the rest on top before baking. I used jasmine tea for this recipe, but chamomile or other varieties would work equally well. Loose leaf tea is probably your best option. But if you can’t find it, you can purchase tea bags and simply tear them open to access the tea leaves inside.
Make sure to keep the rhubarb pieces small-ish for this recipe. Because these scones are miniature, they cook up relatively fast. And you don’t want to be left with any overly firm pieces of rhubarb. I try to keep the pieces about a 1/2-inch in size (like the size of an almond).
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
Whether you’re a baker, math nerd or just a straight up hungry person, today is a day worthy of celebration. It’s Pi Day. The annual observance of the mathematical constant π (pi), who’s first three digits are 3.14 ( = March 14).
So of course, the best way to celebrate Pi Day is by making, eating and sharing actual pies. Right?
Did you know that I basically spent all of my 20’s in either a research laboratory or a classroom? Yup, it’s true. I was busy getting my PhD in Biochemistry, and then later completing a post-doctoral fellowship in Cancer Biology. And I was blinding men with my scientific prowess left and right (not really, but a girl can dream). Full on goggles and lab coat and all that good stuff. So as a bona fide science dork turned food blogger, Pi Day hits home for me on so many levels. Thus, it’s a day that I couldn’t let pass without some recognition.
As much as I love desserts, I must admit that pie is never really my go-to. I’m much more of a cake and ice cream kind of gal. So for my Pi Day inspiration, I asked my Mom for some help. She sent me a rhubarb and berry pie recipe that she had torn out from the pages of a 2001 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It’s a recipe that she’s made successfully dozens of times over the years. And with some early season rhubarb in hand, I decided it would be a good one to adapt for today’s post.
The original recipe is for a full pie. But I flipped the script and turn it into individual hand pies instead. Because who doesn’t love cute little hand pies?!?!
Because these hand pies don’t take as long to bake as a full sized pie, I pre-cooked the filling ingredients on the stove top for a few minutes. This also helps to get rid of some of the excess juices from the fruits, so the hand pies come out with a wonderfully flakey crust that isn’t mushy at all. The filling is almost jam-like, and these Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate kind of remind me of a Pop-Tart, which were a childhood favorite of mine.
The buttermilk pie crust recipe is from Joy the Baker. It’s hands down my favorite pie crust recipe ever. I can’t imagine ever needing another one. If you’ve ever made pie dough before, I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “pea-sized pieces of butter”. This is the size of butter that most recipes will tell you to aim for as you work the butter into the dry ingredients. I actually find this to be misleading. You want the butter to be pea-sized by the END of making/shaping the dough. Not during the middle of the process. Because as you work the dough, the butter pieces will just keep getting smaller and smaller. So I aim for kidney bean-sized pieces of butter, which by the end will be reduced in size closer to that of a pea. Does that make sense?
To make sure all my hand pies were the same size, I actually created a template with a piece of paper and used that as a guide to cut out the rectangles of dough. You certainly don’t have to be that fussy, but I wouldn’t be my overly obsessive scientific self if I didn’t go the extra mile to make them all evenly sized. Using a 4 X 5-inch template, I was able to cut out 14 rectangles, giving me a total of seven hand pies. If you need more pies, just make and use a smaller template.
The final ingredient worth mentioning here is the chocolate. I added chopped dark chocolate to the filling, which melts into deliciously decadent little pockets of goodness during baking. And for the finishing touch, I channeled Jackson Pollock and drizzled some melted chocolate over top. Personally, I LOVE chocolate paired with fruit. But if you’re a purest either way, you can leave it out.
Happy Pi Day! I hope you all get the chance to celebrate!