Sweet or savory, I’ve come to appreciate how versatile rhubarb can be, though its burgeoning presence in the garden is cause enough to expand my repertoire of rhubarb cookery. At first glance, rhubarb in scones would seem impossibly tart. However, I found adding a cup of rhubarb to my basic scone mix gives both color and zest, in pleasing contrast to the richness of the other ingredients. With a nod to its healthful benefits, replacing some of the flour with whole wheat lends a hint of nuttiness, and helps take the guilt out of this summer morning or afternoon treat.
Rhubarb & Buttermilk Scones
1 cup or 4 ounces rhubarb (around 3 stalks), cut into ¼” thick pieces
2½ cups flour (2 cups all purpose + ½ cup whole wheat pastry)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons or 1 stick butter
3 tablespoons + ¼ cup sugar
1 scant cup buttermilk
Sugar for sprinkling
– Heat oven to 425°F. Toss rhubarb pieces with 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture until butter is size of small peas. Blend in ¼ cup of sugar, then the sliced rhubarb. Blend in buttermilk until a soft dough forms. If dough is sticky, blend in a bit more flour. Lightly knead dough and form into a rough ball.
– Transfer dough to a floured surface and divide in half. Pat each piece into 6-inch disks, and cut each circle into 6 triangular scones. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Arrange on a parchment-lined or ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turning pan halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and transfer scones to a rack and let cool. Makes 12 scones.