labor day weekend: apricot buttermilk scones + homemade milk tea

by Chen

How do you celebrate this long weekend?

When you bite into a fluffy and buttery scone, a hint of dried apricot pops out; after you try a few sips of the hot milk tea, which is sweetened with brown sugar and looks like hot chocolate (well, hot chocolate without much chocolate), you just can’t help drinking it up. Can you imagine that? If not, make it.

This kind of luxury may not be for every weekend, but it is meant to be there today–the Labor Day long weekend, the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.

apricot buttermilk scones
Makes 6 small scones

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the working surface
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp butter, diced and chilled

1/2 cup cold buttermilk, plus more for brushing the scones

4 dried apricots, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Use a fork to cut in cold butter until the mixture becomes pea-sized crumbs.

Pour in 1/2 cup buttermilk and stir until the dough just starts to come together. Fold in chopped apricots. The dough may be a little wet and lumpy, which is fine.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Shape it into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle (Do NOT knead it) and fold the left and right 1/3 part into the center. Turn the dough over. Do the folding twice more, and this will result in layered biscuits. After folding, shape it, again, into 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Cut the dough into 6 pieces of equal size.

Transfer the scones to the baking sheet and brush the top with buttermilk. Bake until the scones are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

homemade milk tea
Makes 2 cups

1 tbsp black tea leaves
1 cup boiling water
1 cup milk
2 tbsp brown sugar

Place the tea leaves in whatever you may brew your tea in (i.e. a bowl or mug or tea pot). Pour in the boiling water, cover and let it sit for 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a sauce pan over medium heat until steamy but NOT boiling. Turn off the heat and stir in the brown sugar until dissolved.

Strain the tea into the milk mixture and discard the tea leaves. Give the milk tea mixture a stir and strain it again. Divide the milk tea into two serving cups. It can be enjoyed at any temperature 🙂