Friday, May 29, 2009

Scones. Not Stones!

I feel quite confident proclaiming these to be the best scones I’ve ever tasted.
That sentiment has been echoed by everyone who has ever had the pleasure of tasting them still warm from the oven and drizzled with sweet, sticky glaze. They capitalize on the “made for each other” combination of blueberry and lemon and require (in my opinion) no further embellishment of butter, Devonshire cream or jam, but feel free to slather on as you see fit.

I promise you, these are nothing like the heavy, dry and crumbly scones that may have turned you off in the past. I may run the risk of overusing the adjective “light,” in this blog, (light in texture mind you, not in calories!) but that’s exactly what they are. There simply is no other word. The secret to that dreamy lightness lies, of course, in taking extreme care not to overwork or over bake the dough.

Ingredients for blueberry scones

Blueberry Scones with Lemony Glaze

Makes 8 scones

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board
5 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of 2 lemons
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and very cold
1½ cups fresh blueberries
2 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing tops

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or by pressing it between your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the butter is about the size of peas. Using your fingers, gently toss the blueberries with the flour mixture. At this point I usually place bowl back into the refrigerator to keep the butter cold while I whisk together the cream and the eggs.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the eggs and cream. Using the tines of the fork and working from the outside of the flour mixture, gently start incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined being careful not to mash the berries. The key is not to overwork the dough, but to just bring it together. It will be crumbly, but that’s exactly what makes a moist, tender scone in the end.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Gently knead the dough and pat it out into a 6-inch rectangle. Using a knife or a pastry bench scraper, cut the dough into 4 equal squares. Cut each square in half on the diagonal to make eight triangles. Carefully transfer the scones to the prepared sheet pans. Brush tops with remaining cream. Bake until lightly golden brown and firm to the touch, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the glaze, mix the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl (I use a Pyrex glass measuring cup). Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and butter. Nuke it for 30 seconds on high. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps. Cool the scones slightly on a wire rack then drizzle artfully over the top of the warm scones. Genius!

VARITAION: To make Cinnamon Chocolate Scones, substitute 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in place of the lemon zest and 1½ cups chopped bittersweet chocolate chunks for the fresh blueberries.

Print Recipe


  1. I LOVE Scones! Thanks for posting your recipe, I can't wait to try it!

  2. I love them, too, but again, it's something that I've never made! Tragedy! I don't know what sounds better, the blueberry or the cinnamon chocolate variation. Hm, I guess I'll have to make both!

  3. These look great! Love the way you have the ingredients pictured, what a great idea.