Scones fall into one of two camps generally: buttery with a tender crumb or flaky but dry. In much of my research and experimentation there are two dominate regional types of scones, English style or French style. The English variety being a little drier and crumbly and the French a little richer with the tender crumb. This of course is NOT always the case, but it tends to be a common distinction. My development of this recipe skewed heavily toward the French. I have tweaked it over the last 8 years and I believe it is delicious…of course I do!
As is the case with most pastry, many factors can nudge the end result a little bit. The quality of the flour and butter used, how humid the air is the day you bake them, fluctuating oven temperatures. etc. That said, this base recipe is able to accommodate some adaption. You can change the fruit used and adjust the liquid amounts as necessary (sometimes you may not need the exact measurement of liquid). As is also the case with most pastry, the look and feel of the dough will guide you always. With scones you/re aiming for a dough that is just pulled together, just a bit crumbly. Not overmixed, overly wet, sticky or dense. Once you experiment with the recipe you will understand!
Give it a try and let me know. Particularly any alterations you make such as a fruit swap or any flavour additions you experiment with.
MAKES 4 Large Scones or 6-8 Smaller Scones
2 Level Cups of All Purpose Flour, Sifted
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Zest
2 teaspoons Fresh Orange Zest
1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Cold Unsalted Butter Cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 Cup Cold Heavy Cream (or half and half)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Large Egg
1 Cup Fresh Blueberries
Egg Wash (egg yolk and cream)
Turbinado or White Sugar for Sprinkling
Preheat Oven to 375
Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cold butter cubes in the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the paddle attachment and turn the mixer on low. Mix until the butter is the size of small peas and the zest is evenly distributed in the flour. Turn of machine and leave to the side while you mix the wet. In a glass measuring cup beat the egg with the cream and vanilla. Turn the mixer back on low and slowly pour the cream mixture into the dry mix. You want the mixture to just come together, not too sticky or wet. You may not need all the liquid so be sure to add it slowly and watch the dough form. When all of the flour is just combined stop the machine.
Lightly dust your counter or board with flour and dump out the dough, making sure to get all the dough off the paddle as well. Gently bring it together with your hands and pat it out into rough 5x8 rectangle. Evenly spread the blueberries on top of dough and gently roll up, sticking in any wayward berries as you go. Pat the fruit filled dough into a rough 4x6 rectangle (for 4 large scones or a rough 5x8 rectangle for 6-8 smaller scones) and cut into four triangles or squares with a sharp knife (or 6-8 triangles/squares).
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush each scone with a light coating of egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in the oven for 20-25 until the tops are golden brown and the scones are just barely firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes. Best served warm!
*Can’t eat them all in one day? These will stay delicious for an extra day or two if stored properly. Just give the leftover scones a quick warm up and enjoy the next day.