Monday, August 1, 2011

Bonus Post: Blueberry-Lemon Scones

Late July is blueberry pie season here, and while I respect the tradition of pie-for-breakfast, I recognize that practice is less accepted outside of New England. (Though, when you think about it, how far is pie from blueberry danish or muffins or Pop-Tarts?) Anyway, if you can't fathom pie for breakfast or brunch, I suggest making scones as an alternative.

Bakery scones generally disappoint me -- too heavy or too dry -- but this home recipe won me over. It has a nice balance of flavors and moistness without being cloyingly sweet. The scones are definitely best eaten warm on the day you bake them. Revive day-old scones (if you have any) with a quick zap in the microwave.

Blueberry-Lemon Scones

(Adapted from Baking Bites. Makes 8 scones.)

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup milk (see note, below)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Have on hand a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the flour mixture appears sandy and no pieces of butter remain larger than a pea.

Stir in the milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest with a fork until the dough comes together. If the dough is too wet, add in another tablespoon of flour. Knead the dough in your bowl for about 1 minute. Flatten the dough slightly, sprinke with blueberries, and gently knead or fold in the blueberries so they are evenly distributed in the dough.

Divide the dough in half and scoop each half onto the baking sheet, keeping a couple of inches between the mounds of dough. Flatten each mound into a circle about 3/4-inch thick. (You can do this by putting a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on top of the dough, and pressing down with your hand.) Slice each circle into quarters with a knife or bench scraper.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Note: I used skim milk, because that's what we keep in our fridge. Any kind of milk should work. I think more fat would just add to the creaminess of the scone, but I didn't test the recipe that way.

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