Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Scones
- 1/2 C. granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 C. rhubarb, chopped into approx. 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3/4-1 C. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper.
Place granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and, using a paring knife, scrape seeds from each half of vanilla bean onto the sugar in the bowl. Using a fork, mash vanilla seeds (which will clump because they're sticky) until well distributed throughout the sugar. Add rhubarb to the vanilla-sugar mixture and toss to coat thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt together with a whisk. Cut butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are about the size of small peas. (Alternately, you can use a food processor.)
Stir flour mixture into the rhubarb mixture until combined. Pour 3/4 C. buttermilk into the bowl and, using a large spoon, mix until the dough starts to come together. Add more buttermilk as needed to incorporate all of the loose flour, but only 1 Tbsp. more at a time.
Liz note: At this point, I find it easier to use my hands to finish combining the dough. Also, if you accidentally add too much buttermilk, add a little flour to balance it. You want the dough to come together without being crumbly, but you don't want it mushy and sticky.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Pat and flatten it into a disk that is about 1-inch thick/tall. Cut into 8 equal triangles (like a pie). Arrange on baking sheet.
Optional: Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the tops of the scones with some additional buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 18-20 minutes or until browned on top and done through the middle. You can test doneness by tapping the top. They should sound hollow and not appear moist on the sides. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Tip: You can make these ahead. Just finish them all the way up to placing them on the baking sheet (but before brushing with buttermilk) and put the whole sheet in the freezer instead of the oven. Let the scones freeze overnight, then transfer them to a freezer bag for longer storage. When you are ready to bake them, simply place them back on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, top with buttermilk and sugar if desired, and bake. You will need to extend the baking time range by about 5 minutes.