Scones are not something I generally get excited about eating or baking. In my experience, they’re generally dry and crumbly. If you’ve ever ordered one from Starbucks, you’d probably never eat one again.
We have a lovely little bakery and cafe in St. Petersburg that used to make homemade scones with heavy whipped cream. They used fresh herbs and fruits from their own gardens. They were buttery, flaky and absolutely to-die-for delicious. My interest in scones moved up a few notches.
Then, at a series of recent meetings at her home, a client baked fresh, homemade scones for us. Warm, from the oven fresh. Flaky, sweet, delicious.
Score a few more points for scones, and commence playing with recipes.
Turns out, scones aren’t as easy as you might think. They require really cold butter and a lot of patience. But if you find a base recipe you can work with, you can mix in just about anything.
I had some fresh blueberries because they’re on sale and in season, so I thought I’d make blueberry scones on Sunday morning – and I finally found a recipe that’s simple enough to keep on hand and delicious as an end-product. I’m going to try brown sugar and cinnamon next week!
First things first, mix up your dry ingredients – the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Then, chop your super cold butter into little pieces. If you’re up for it, use a cheese grater to grate it into the flour mixture. (I wasn’t up to it.)
Next, use your mixer or, if you have one, food processor, to mash the butter and flour mixture together. It will still look really dry when you’re done.
In a smaller bowl, beat together the sour cream and egg.
Then, mix that into the butter and flour mixture. It will seem dry, but when you start mashing it all together with your hands, it’ll form a nice dough.
Then, mix in the blueberries. Or chocolate chips. Or whatever additives you decide to add.
Form this dough into a 7 or 8 inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick on a floured surface.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar, and slice into 8 pieces, like a pie.
Place them about an inch apart on a baking sheet, and bake for 15-17 minutes.
Serve warm, because they certainly won’t keep for very long. You probably need to eat them the same day or, well, they just aren’t good anymore.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar (+ another tbsp for sprinkling on top)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tbsps butter, frozen or ice cold
- 1/2 cup blueberries (or chocolate chips, or whatever you want to mix in)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- Move oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Chop butter into little pieces and mix into flour mixture; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in berries/chips/whatever.
- In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
- Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
- Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining spoonful of sugar.
- Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm if at all possible.