There are few things in this world that make me happier than a scone. I’m serious. Give me a good scone and I’ll show you a smile. Scones in America for the most part disgust me. They are huge, sugary, and dry (literally sticking to the roof of my mouth at times), three big no-no’s for a scone. Scones are meant to be dainty, not too sweet, flaky and moist! Think of them as the slightly sweeter cousin of a biscuit. These were my first scones using fresh berries as opposed to dry fruits, and although a nice raisin or dried cherry scone is delicious, I think in the summer it’s worth using some fresh produce to make these scones out of this world. The heavy cream with make them a little richer and more decadent, while using buttermilk will give them a light tang. Either way they are delicious so just pick your poison and have a ball. You can also use this same basic recipe and just change out the blueberries for raisins or other chopped dried or fresh fruits. Enjoy them with a spot of tea and you’ll feel you’re on holiday in the heart of Great Britain. Cheerio!!
Fresh Blueberry Scones
Makes about 12 to 16 scones, depending on the size you prefer
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 T. baking powder
Zest of half a lemon
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), cold and cut into cubes
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream or buttermilk, plus more for brushing on top
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. If using an electric mixer: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest and low speed until just mixed. Add cold butter cubes to the flour mixture and turn on mixer to medium for a few minutes until mixture resembles coarse pea or dime-size crumbs. Add blueberries and turn on mixer again on very low just until the blueberries lightly combine into the flour/butter mixture. Add the egg and heavy cream/buttermilk to the flour mixture on low until just combined or mix in by hand (you may not need all of the liquid if the flour absorbs it all, add most of it at first and add the last bit if necessary). If mixing by hand: In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Add cold butter cubes to the flour mixture and work the butter into the flour mixture, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse pea or dime-size crumbs. Be careful not to overwork the mixture or the butter will soften too much and the resulting scones will not be flaky. Add the blueberries and toss well. Then add the egg and the heavy cream/buttermilk to the flour mixture and mix until just combined (you may not need all of the liquid if the flour absorbs it all, add most of it at first and add the last bit if necessary). The dough will be wet and sticky.
Scrape dough onto a nicely floured large wooden cutting board or work surface. The dough will be sticky, so take extra care flouring your hands and the sides and top of the dough as well, lightly patting it flat and into a rectangle shape, about 3/4 inch thick (make sure it doesn’t stick! Add more flour to the board if necessary). Don’t overwork the dough, as you want the butter inside to stay as cold as possible until the scones head into the oven, ensuring a flaky result!
Depending on your preference, you can use a round floured cookie or biscuit cutter to cut circles, or use a bench/dough scraper or knife to cut triangles. Flip each cut scone over and place upside down on the parchment lined baking sheet (the bottoms are flatter and will look prettier as the tops of the scones), spacing a couple inches apart. Mix a little heavy cream with a dash of water and lightly brush on top of the scones (but not the sides), followed by a sprinkle of coarse sugar. Bake scones for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden on top. Scones can be enjoyed hot out of the oven, warm, or room temperature. If you like them warm, lightly reheat them before enjoying the leftovers (if there are any!)