It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? A little more than two months ago, my profession (as it often does) took over my life in a way that all but caused me to ditch my efforts at food blogging entirely. Deadlines piled up, inboxes filled, parents called me late in the evening to ask how their children could be saved from failing my course. And, as a child’s development is more important than, say, a great recipe for french fries or the perfect two ingredient cocktail, this here food blog was left dormant for too long.
But I’m back, I promise. This thing won’t happen again (at least not to the extent that it did). There might be a dry spell here or there, but I intend to post at least monthly. So, without further ado, let’s talk scones.
Over the holidays, I had the chance to experience once again the charms of rustic living. There, in the sprawling and weathered house built by the sweat and toil of my dear father’s hands, I spent my days and nights. Evenings seemed to fall quickly and without warning, the sun hightailing it to the southern hemisphere. But nursed by a glass of bourbon aged no more than a few miles down the road and entranced by the chattering of the woodstove, we didn’t seem to mind.
On Christmas Day, I roamed the house without a thing to do. Not surprisingly, food was on my mind. My father’s wife, Mary, an amazing cook and food blogger herself, and I were discussing recent food projects when scones came up. With a well-stocked pantry, I figured I would try my hand at this beloved tender/flaky/salty/sweet pastry.
Before I set foot into the kitchen, these scones and the recipe I was devising were “theoretical.” I figured that what I really wanted in a scone was the tender, flaky, buttery crumb of a biscuit with a higher sugar content and some type of fruit. Blueberries and lemon, always a satisfying combination, were both on hand. And thus, this recipe was born.
2 1/4 cups ap flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 tbsp baking powder
8 tbsps butter, cubed and well-chilled
1 1/8 cup heavy cream, well-chilled
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup blueberries, frozen
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cube the butter into 1/4 inch pieces and let cool in the freezer for 15 minutes. Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture, until the bits of butter are about the size of lentils. Mix in the lemon zest. Add the heavy cream a little at a time and mix with a spoon. The dough should be shaggy and will just come together.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead it together with a rolling pin or your hands. You want it to be about half an inch thick. At this point, you want to scatter the frozen berries on top of the dough. Mix the berries into the dough by folding the dough onto itself once or twice. This will be a very messy process, so don’t get all angry about it. Take care not to apply too much pressure to the berries, as they will be smashed.
Shape the dough into a 5” by 10” inch rectangle. Using a bench scraper or a knife, cut the dough into triangles. If you are worried about the scones holding together, you can cut them into a sturdy rectangle.
Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dust with a fine layer of sugar and place in the oven. Let them bake anywhere from 13-17 minutes, or until the tops are a deep golden brown.