sweet cream scones, strawberry rhubarb jam & some news!

You guys. Things are just out of control INSANE around here these days.

I know I haven’t been around much lately, and I feel awful. What do you say we catch up a bit over scones and jam?

You know that old saying, “When it rains, it pours?”

Well right now, it’s a torrential downpour. A deluge. An epic, non-stop thunderstorm of awesome.

So a few months ago, with the end of culinary school on the horizon, I secretly applied to grad school. I didn’t tell anyone, except Ryan and my BFF. Not even my parents. Why the secrecy? Honestly, I really, truly did not believe I would ever get in.

During my senior year of college, my boyfriend of four years and I broke up, and I kind of went off the deep end. Not the sad deep end, because I was the one that broke it off. Instead, I did the really mature thing and went downtown every night, living it up, partying like a total lunatic. Basically, I completely blew off my studies and pretty much stopped caring about school. Smart, right?

Anyhow. by the time I graduated, I’d done a real number on my GPA. It wasn’t pretty. I figured my chances of ever getting into grad school were slim to none, so I wrote off the idea of getting a Master’s degree. Kind of heartbreaking. Some little girls daydream about pink houses and being a princess. Little me dreamed of higher education and eventually getting a PhD. Oh, and dinosaurs. I was kind of a dinosaur fanatic growing up.

Fast-forward a few years: I’m married to a super-amazing boy, I’m studying baking and pastry in culinary school, where I’ve maintained a 4.0 GPA since day one, and I have a lovely little food blog that I adore to pieces. I got my life together! Yeah!

Even though I had finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life, the thought of grad school still lingered in the back of my mind. I knew I wanted to continue studying and learning about food, but I still thought I’d never get in anywhere because of my awful undergraduate GPA, haunting me like a spooky ghost.

I stopped being afraid, wrote a killer letter of intent and applied to grad school. I figured that applying and not getting in would be much better than staying afraid, never applying and always wondering.

Guess what, nerds? I GOT IN!

I’ve been accepted to Boston University’s Gastronomy graduate program, arguably the best program of its kind in the entire country. Whoa.

I’m still completely, utterly wholly shocked. It’s really happening! I start in September, and I plan on focusing my studies on food writing, communication, culture and history. Eep!

Oh, did I forget to mention that we are moving to Boston next Thursday?

I’ve been alternating between freaking out with excitement over grad school and stressing out completely, trying to find an internship so I can graduate from culinary school. It’s been intense.

But remember when I said that one good thing has snowballed into about 23,598 other amazing things?

My last day of classes for culinary school is on May 16, and I’ve accepted a job as a pastry cook/baker in an adorable cafe in Harvard Square! I landed a full-time job that will count towards my internship for school in Boston! So many good things!

Ryan found us an adorable, albeit teeny-tiny studio apartment in a beautiful brownstone building a few blocks from Fenway Park, and we’ve been busy packing, selling all our things and getting ready to hop in the car on Thursday to move 1,300 miles away.

Did I forget to mention that all of these amazing things, all of this crazy life-changing stuff has transpired in the last three weeks?

So I hope you’ll forgive my absence around these parts, but now you know why I’ve been MIA for a while. I promise I’ll be back to posting regularly once we’ve settled into our new apartment in Boston, but for the next couple of weeks posting is going to be pretty intermittent, so don’t hate me, okay?

In the meantime, I suggest you whip up a batch of these sweet cream scones and a bit of strawberry rhubarb jam. The scones come together in no time flat, and they’re so lovely and tender and perfect. You’ll be smitten and struck by their simplicity; how a few measly ingredients can work together in such harmony to bake up a wondrous, tender-crumbed delivery system for sweet-tart jam baffles me completely.

And the jam? Oh, this jam. It’s the absolute essence of springtime. Plump strawberries and bright pink rhubarb cook together with a bit of lemon and vanilla to enhance their bright flavors. A quick spin in the food processor or blender yields a smooth scarlet jam that glides beautifully across scones, toast or any bread it meets. Truth be told, this jam is a lot like my life right now: pretty damn perfect.

  • Sweet Cream Scones with Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
  • Sweet Cream Scones with Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Yield: 24 small scones, 2 pints jam

Ingredients:

  • For the Cream Scones

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons natural cane sugar
    3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
    1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled

    For the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

    3 cups fresh strawberries
    1 cup fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
    the zest of one lemon
    the juice of one lemon
    1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (substitute 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste)
    1/2-3/4 cup natural cane sugar (depends on how sweet you like your jam!)
    2 tablespoons framboise (optional)

  • For the Cream Scones

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons natural cane sugar
    3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
    1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled

    For the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

    3 cups fresh strawberries
    1 cup fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
    the zest of one lemon
    the juice of one lemon
    1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (substitute 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste)
    1/2-3/4 cup natural cane sugar (depends on how sweet you like your jam!)
    2 tablespoons framboise (optional)

Directions:

  • For the Sweet Cream Scones

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, with a rack in the center of the oven.

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

    Sift together the flour, baking powder, kosher salt and sugar into a medium bowl. Form a small well in the center of the dry ingredients.

    Pour the cream into the center of the well and using your hands, fold the flour mixture into the cream until mostly incorporated. You might want to use a glove!

    Turn the rough dough onto a well-floured surface and knead briefly just until the dough comes together.

    Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/2" thickness.

    Using a small floured cookie cutter (I used a fluted 2" round cutter), cut the scones out of the dough and carefully transfer them to the prepared cookie sheet, leaving about 1" between each scone.

    Using a pastry brush, brush the excess flour from the top of the scones and brush with melted butter.

    Bake the scones at 425 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on the outside.

    Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet for 2-3 minutes before serving.

    Serve the scones warm with soft butter and jam.

    The scones will keep for up to three days, stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

    For the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

    Combine all the ingredients in a medium non-reactive saucepan and place over medium-high heat.

    Stirring often, allow the mixture to come to a boil and turn down to low.

    Allow the jam to cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the fruit is tender and broken down.

    After the fruit has cooked, remove the vanilla bean and carefully pour the warm jam into the bowl of a food processor or blender. You can also use an immersion blender, if you happen to have one.

    Pulse the jam until smooth and pureed, about 30 seconds or so.

    Transfer the jam to sterilized glass jars and allow to come to room temperature before sealing and transferring to the fridge.

    The jam will keep, stored in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to two months. If you'd like the jam to be shelf-stable, you can heat process the cans and your jam will keep for up to a year.

  • For the Sweet Cream Scones

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, with a rack in the center of the oven.

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

    Sift together the flour, baking powder, kosher salt and sugar into a medium bowl. Form a small well in the center of the dry ingredients.

    Pour the cream into the center of the well and using your hands, fold the flour mixture into the cream until mostly incorporated. You might want to use a glove!

    Turn the rough dough onto a well-floured surface and knead briefly just until the dough comes together.

    Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/2" thickness.

    Using a small floured cookie cutter (I used a fluted 2" round cutter), cut the scones out of the dough and carefully transfer them to the prepared cookie sheet, leaving about 1" between each scone.

    Using a pastry brush, brush the excess flour from the top of the scones and brush with melted butter.

    Bake the scones at 425 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on the outside.

    Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet for 2-3 minutes before serving.

    Serve the scones warm with soft butter and jam.

    The scones will keep for up to three days, stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

    For the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

    Combine all the ingredients in a medium non-reactive saucepan and place over medium-high heat.

    Stirring often, allow the mixture to come to a boil and turn down to low.

    Allow the jam to cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the fruit is tender and broken down.

    After the fruit has cooked, remove the vanilla bean and carefully pour the warm jam into the bowl of a food processor or blender. You can also use an immersion blender, if you happen to have one.

    Pulse the jam until smooth and pureed, about 30 seconds or so.

    Transfer the jam to sterilized glass jars and allow to come to room temperature before sealing and transferring to the fridge.

    The jam will keep, stored in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to two months. If you'd like the jam to be shelf-stable, you can heat process the cans and your jam will keep for up to a year.

cream scone recipe adapted from James Beard

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27 Responses to “sweet cream scones, strawberry rhubarb jam & some news!”

  1. #
    1
    Emily — May 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    woohooo! Congratulations!

  2. #
    2
    Carolyn — May 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Hey! Congratulations. I actually used to work at BU (School of Management). And these are gorgeous scones.

  3. #
    3
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — May 8, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    So happy for you, my friend!! Congrats!!! :)

  4. #
    4
    sweetsugarbelle — May 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    These look like heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #
    5
    Adrienne @ How to Ice a Cake — May 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Congrats on getting in to BU! I was actually just looking at food study programs today and wishing some crazed billionaire would send me money so I could go! You must share all the details and let us know how amazing it is!!

  6. #
    6
    jessica lynn — May 9, 2012 at 12:26 am

    I know we only met the one time, but I’m so over-the-moon excited for you! I truly love reading your blog and creating your recipes because I feel like you’re not just another food blogger who writes about food; you’re someone who is extremely invested in the craft and your recipes, writing, and photos clearly show that.

    (I’m also jealous that you’re moving to Boston. That’s been my dream city to live in since I visited it for the first time years ago.) Good luck with the move!!

  7. #
    7
    Kathryn — May 9, 2012 at 5:05 am

    I’m so so excited for all the fun things in your life right now (although the thought of having to cope with all of it makes me feel a bit nauseous) and I can’t wait to hear more about Boston, your job, your studies and everything!

  8. #
    8
    Robin — May 9, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Congratulations!!! That’s amazing news…all of it!

  9. #
    9
    brandi — May 9, 2012 at 8:53 am

    i am so, so excited for you!!! you deserve it – and now i definitely need a trip to boston :)

  10. #
    10
    Julia — May 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Jaclyn, this is insane! In a good way!!!! I’m stoked for your new adventures and super encouraged by your acceptance to grad school!!!! You deserve all of this, and then some, so glad it’s a torrential downpour of amazingness!

  11. #
    11
    rivergurl — May 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    WOWSERS!! So excited for you!! Sounds like a dreamy dream come true! Since your blog/recipes are so creative and interesting, I am quite sure you will have oodles of success both creatively and in your career. This is very good news! Congratulations!!

  12. #
    12
    Diane {Created by Diane} — May 10, 2012 at 1:32 am

    How exciting. Congratulations!!! What a wonderful new journey you will be on…can’t wait to hear the updates!

  13. #
    13
    Shaina — May 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Congratulations on graduate school! I am so excited for you, and I can’t wait to see where it takes you.

  14. #
    14
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — May 11, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Congratulations! That’s fantastic news on all fronts.

  15. #
    15
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes — May 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

    So many amazing news! Now that you have no more GPA ghosts following you there´s no saying what you will continue to achieve! Congratulations, you deserve it

  16. #
    16
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — May 11, 2012 at 9:56 am

    You should be so proud of yourself. I know some people in the program and they love it! Plus, you’ll be in Boston!!! WOO HOO!

  17. #
    17
    JAHeath — May 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Jaclyn,
    Congratulations on getting into BU and having an apartment near Fenway Park. You’ll be able to see the Sox lose another pennant in person!
    Have a question regarding your rhubarb jam. In a week or so, if all the snow is gone we’re moving up to a high country sheep pasture for the summer here in western Montana. It’s at about 7500 feet so it’s chilly up there and there are no strawberries. But there is an old miner’s cabin with some rhubarb growing near the old outhouse. I’m thinking we could make some jam and use it for seasoning and so forth. Do you think we could jar it up as you suggest and keep it cool in the springwater (the water is about 40 degrees most of the time). Everything else comes up in cans so it would be nice to have something fresh.
    Good luck at grad school.

  18. #
    18
    liz | carpeseason — May 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    congrats on all the good news – love it when life aligns so perfectly like that. What a lot of change in a short time…love the look of this jam. Spoon-worthy I’m sure!

  19. #
    19
    ErinsFoodFiles — May 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    These scones are ADORABLE! AND WOOO HOOO to the life changing events!

  20. #
    20
    Lindsay — May 16, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Congratulations to you!!! I wanted to poke my head out from the darkness of blog lurking and say Welcome to Boston!! You will love it here and I would love to help you get acquainted with the city – I realize it’s weird to meet a stranger but I think we’d get along great and there are A LOT of restaurants to check out!! Congratulations again and goodluck with the move!

  21. #
    21
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Congrats on… well, everything! I don’t even know where to start. Have a safe move to Boston and I hope you share all your experiences as you go!

  22. #
    22
    Jeanette — May 31, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Wow, that is awesome news – congratulations!! Can’t wait to see where this bring you!

  23. #
    23
    Nealey @ Dixie Caviar — June 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Oh my goodness, Jaclyn. How wonderful! I can’t wait to see all the amazing (and delicious) things that transpire in your future. Congrats and good luck!

  24. #
    24
    millie — June 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Congratulations Jaclyn!! I’m so glad everything’s turning out so great for you right now :D Reading this post was pretty exciting for me too – I actually visit Harvard Square quite a bit, so do you mind if I ask you what cafe you’ll be working at? I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and it’d be SO cool to meet you in real life! (though I might be too awed to talk to you!) Either way, hope you have a FANTASTIC summer! Boston is really a wonderful city!

  25. #
    25
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — June 10, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I am about to finish culinary school myself (and start a 6 month required restaurant externship)!! And I have heard all about Boston University’s gastronomy master’s program. It sounds SO interesting!

    Congratulations on your acceptance!

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