I always thought scones were something you bought at a bakery or if you were lucky, would be served with clotted cream and jam at a scrumptious tea. Oh my yum! In my mind they were just a little too fancy to make at home. Isn't that silly?
I've since learned, thanks to Ina Garten, that scones can be made in your kitchen and served any time you like. They may look fancy, but they're not hard to make and everyone always loves them!
I like to use fruit that's in season, or as in these blueberry scones, fruit I have in the freezer. And speaking of the freezer, which I believe is a cooks best friend, these scones can be frozen before baked and pulled out at a moments notice. It's nice to bake a couple of scones on a Sunday morning, just for the two of us, without having leftovers that we don't need.
These would make a lovely gift for a mother in your life. Why don't you take a few minutes to make some scones today? Let me show you how it's done.
Start with three sticks of very cold butter. Dice these into small cubes. Make sure you use real butter ( I like unsalted when I bake), and don't fret too much about this quantity. Butter is what creates a flaky scone and this recipe makes a lot, twelve to fifteen scones, depending on size.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, mix unbleached plain flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. You can use any citrus zest you like, but lemons and blueberries were meant to be together, so today I'm using the zest of a couple of lemons.
Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas.
In another bowl, combine eggs and heavy cream. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the flour and butter mixture. Mix just until blended. The dough will look lumpy!
Combine the blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour in a small bowl and mix together. Add this to the dough and mix on low speed with your mixer. You may have to do a little stirring by hand to prevent the berries from crushing .
Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and gently knead into a ball. I divide this dough ball into two balls, for ease in rolling and cutting. Add dusting of flour to your hands, the surface and the rolling pin as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.
Roll the dough to about 3/4 inch thickness and cut into triangle shapes, or use a round cutter, as Ina does. You should be able to see small bits of butter in the dough. When this cold butter hits the hot oven, flaky layers of goodness will be the result.
Place on baking sheet, with silicone sheet or parchment paper. Brush the tops of the scones with an egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar (regular sugar works too).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are browned and insides are fully baked. Allow to cool completely and then drizzle with glaze, if desired. I usually desire the glaze!
Juice the lemons that you've zested and use a small amount with confectioners sugar to make your glaze. Because you've zested those lemons, you'll need to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap to prevent them from becoming rock hard, or just go ahead and juice them. You won't need all of the juice for the glaze, but put it front and center in your refrigerator, so you'll see it and use it for something else in the next few days. I'm making chicken piccata for dinner tonight with my leftover juice. You can also freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays and use them in recipes later on. Lemons are precious and I hate to waste, even a little zest or juice.
4 cups plain unbleached flour, plus 1/ 4 cup
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. baking powder
2 t. kosher salt
1 T. grated lemon zest
3/4 lb (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced in cubes
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen- if using frozen, do not thaw)
Egg wash- 1 egg beaten with 2 T water
Glaze- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar mixed with 4 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add more sugar or juice to get your glaze to the consistency you like.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and zest.
Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas.
Combine the eggs and heavy cream and with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy!
Combine the blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour, and add to the dough. Mix on low speed until blended. Hand mix at the end to incorporate fruit if needed.
Dump the dough onto a well floured surface and knead into a ball. Divide into two smaller balls. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough 3/4 inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Cut into triangle shapes or cut with round cutter.
Place on baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and insides are fully baked.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then drizzle with glaze.
*Recipe compliments of Ina Garten
Happy Mother's Day!