Blueberry Lemon Scones
On Sundays I almost always make some type of breakfast, very general I know. This could be pancakes, poached eggs, French toast, muffins, biscuits or… scones. I love a good scone and a good scone is hard to find sometimes. I’ve had ones that are so dry, it’s like eating a sponge and I’ve had others that crumble apart on the first bite. I think somewhere right in between is perfect and although I wouldn’t dare call mine perfect, for the repercussions on the online world would be too great to bear, I think and have been told they’re pretty damn good. Scones are completely versatile and can be made with bacon and cheese, dried fruits and nuts, herbs… pretty much anything that you can think to put into it. Please let me know of flavor combinations that you come up with!
These scones were made with fresh blueberries and lemon. I’ve always felt like the two flavors compliment each other and I think that I continued that theme here. The crumbly, flaky texture, mild sweetness and buttery flavor make them the perfect teatime biscuit, for a late Sunday morning.
2 Cups AP Flour
1 Tbs Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
4oz (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
¼ Cup Sugar
1 Cup Blueberries
Zest from 1 Lemon
1 Egg Yolk
½ Cup Buttermilk
¼ Cup Lemon Juice
¼ Cup Turbinado Sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
I used an 8” cake pan to shape these scones. You can cut circles or just use a knife for freeform scones. I like the cake pan because I don’t lose any of the dough and they’re always uniform. Just dust the cake pan with flour first.
First, make sure you wash and pick though the blueberries. There can be some tiny stems and leaves that will not make good additions to your scones. Next, cut the butter into cubes and put it in the freezer. You want the butter to be as cold as possible, so when you begin working the butter into the flour it’s not melting. This is where my recipe will differ from many people. Just like piecrust, the object here is to create a dough layered by fat and flour, so that when baked the fat will melt and the water evaporate, creating flaky pastry. Many people like to use a butter and shortening mix or all shortening (yuck), since shortening has a much higher melting point; shortening for texture and butter for flavor. But shortening has so much trans fat in it, that I opt for some loss in texture and better flavor by using 100% butter.
Do NOT do what I did in the picture below. I wanted to show all of the ingredients that go into the dry mix, but forgot the butter in the freezer. I spent 5 minutes picking the blueberries out.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest together. Add the butter and with a pastry blender, processor or by hand, cut the butter into the flour. I like doing this step by hand, because I feel I have better control over the process. Rub the butter in between your thumbs and forefingers to create long flakes in the dough. Remember though, working the butter with your hands will cause it to melt quicker so don’t overdo it. The processor is the quickest way; just use 4-5 pluses of about 2 seconds each until the flour turns into little balls. Place this mixture back into the freezer for the butter to firm up again.
Whisk the eggs, buttermilk and lemon juice together. Make a well in the flour mix and pour the egg mixture in. Use a rubber spatula to fold and incorporate the wet into the dry and try not to overwork the dough and lose all that effort of creating flakes. After that, tip the dough into the cake pan, don’t forget to flour the pan, and push it down until it fits the pan and is flat. Flour the top a bit and put the pan in the freezer to firm again.
Preheat your over to 400º. Once the dough is almost completely frozen, pull it out and turn it out on a clean counter or cutting board. If it won’t come out of the pan, take the dull side of a butter knife and run it around the edge. Use a chef’s knife to cut the dough into eighths. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle the turbinado sugar over them. Put them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake on the lower rack for about 15 minutes and then on the top rack for another 8-10 minutes until browned.
Let cool on a rack and enjoy with butter, jam and tea.