Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Scones

@TestKitchen gets the credit for designing this recipe, I'm just the baker. The Lemon Blueberry Scones recipe is from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, one of the most beloved (and most bedraggled) books in my kitchen.

These scones are superb. Probably because of the butter and heavy cream (hallmarks of many a yummy recipe...). I tend to make mine about half the size the original recipe calls for and freeze the extras. I can then thaw just one or two for breakfast or a snack with a cup of coffee.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the counter
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt*
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest**
  • 5 Tbsp chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes*
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Ingredient Notes:
*I keep salted butter on hand (tastes better on hot dinner rolls...), so I cut the salt here back to about 1/4 tsp to compensate.
**I'm sure fresh lemon zest is best but I never have lemons at the right time (they either get used to fast or turn fuzzy). Penzey's sells powdered lemon zest that keeps for a very long time in the fridge. The jar says to use 1/3 the amount called for in the recipe, but I use the whole 1 tsp here.
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Toss in the butter cubes. Separate each cube and toss it in the flour. Yes, you can skip this but the less stuck-together the butter is at the start, the easier it is to cut into the flour.
  4. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.*
  5. Toss the blueberries (still frozen) in the flour.
  6. Pour in the cream and stir with a spatula until it the dough is sticky (it will be crumbly).
  7. Sprinkle flour on your counter (I use a large wooden pastry board), and dump your scone dough out. Press it together into a ball with your hands. It will be sticky, and will look streaky with the flour and the butter.
  8. I form the dough into a square about 8-10" or so, roughly an inch thick. The cookbook suggests using a 9" cake pan for the shape which also works nicely. Using a bench scraper (or a butter knife), cut the dough diagonally into triangles. I get 16. The recipe calls for 8 pie-shaped slices. Both are equally tasty :)
  9. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet (with the bench scraper or a spatula), and bake about 10-15 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden brown. Less time for smaller scones, more for the larger size.
  10. Cool just enough to avoid tongue-burning before consuming. Cool completely before freezing.
Direction Notes:
*The cookbook suggests using a food processor, which works well too. I just find that the food processor takes a lot more setup and cleanup for me (since I have to pull it out and assemble), and the pastry blender requires no assembly, no longer to use on the butter/flour, and takes less space in the dishwasher.

1 comment:

HanaĆ¢ said...

I love your small portions. That's a great idea! I hardly ever make scones because of their high fat content, but if you make small portions, it's not that bad (I'm totalling having a "duh, why didn't I think of that moment", ha ha). Great job!