You go to a café or a bakery because you want to treat yourself to something sweet, or maybe you’re hungry and cranky and need a little something to tide you over until you get home and make dinner because you have to make (insert dish here) already because everything you bought to make it is going to go bad if you don’t just get to it already. And then you take that first bite. And then…then you realize you just paid $3.50 (or more) for total disappointment. That’s not to say there are no good baked goods for sale out there – there are so many great baked goods out there. There’s a morning bun at a nearby bakery that I love. There are also a ginger cookie, brioche, rugelach and giant sticky thing that I travel for. But travel isn’t always an option. What you can always do is make your own.
I love a good scone. Golden brown on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside. And you know, if you make them yourself, you get to eat them warm, just out of the oven. And you can eat 8 of them.
Now this is one of those recipes that requires flour and butter to become “coarse” and “cornmeal-like” in appearance. I used to feel so insecure about getting that look, never quite sure if I was getting it right. After enough failures and successes, I finally got comfortable with it and learned that above all else, you simply can’t work the dough too much. Additionally, it’s way easier to get to that appearance if you get a food processor, especially if you have weak upper body strength (not an option for the pastry blender tool method).
Above, you see my version of that coarse texture, then after the egg, the cream, and finally, the wet sticky dough. We are now just a few steps away from our afternoon snack.
The blueberries can be tough to work in, in that you don’t want to work your dough too much. Given my level of skill, this means a fold or two followed by some unsophisticated poking in of individual blueberries in an effort to spread them out a little more. Your hands will get really messy here, but it’s totally worth it once you see those beautiful little triangles.
While I’m generally not a tea person, I do love these with a hot cup of Earl Grey.
Just barely adapted from Alice Currah on PBS Kitchen Explorers
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed*
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries**
Preheat your oven to 375°.
Put all the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to mix it all together.
Add the butter and pulse until it resembles a coarse cornmeal-like mixture. You can do it!
Add the egg and pulse until combined.
Add the cream. Pulse until combined. Remember, don’t overdo it! If it even only looks mostly combined, then stop. When in doubt, stop.
Place the dough onto a floured surface and pat it down enough so that you can put all the blueberries on top. This isn’t a whole lot of patting.
Gently fold the dough over once. This is messy and sticky work. If blueberries fall out, stick them in however you can. Like I wrote above, I usually just poke them in (not very far – just so they won’t fall out). Sometimes I push them lightly onto the top.
Form the dough into a disk. Use a big sharp knife to cut the disk into 8 wedges.
Place your scones onto a baking sheet or baking stone lined with parchment paper.
Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
Let these cool until they are just a little warm to the touch before patting yourself on the back and taking your first bite.
*I always use salted butter, even when a recipe calls for unsalted. Use what you like. I bet my biscuits they’ll turn out fine no matter which you use.
**I prefer using frozen berries. I find them a lot easier to work with- no smashed berries. I like the tiny wild blueberries from Trader Joe’s. Good size and sweetness.
Note: You can freeze these before they’re baked. I usually freeze half of them so we don’t end up eating stale scones a couple days later. You can pop your frozen scones straight from the freezer into the oven. Just expect to add about 5 minutes or so to the baking. The extra time will really depend on your oven, so keep an eye on them.