Scones hold a special place in my heart. Despite learning that our American version is fairly different than the true British edition, I still love to make these for teatime gatherings. (…and I may or may not have snuck some into the theater when we saw the Downton Abbey movie.) Even if you aren’t a teatime kind of person, these scones are a nice dish to serve to guests for breakfast or brunch. They are relatively simple to make, and once you understand the basic recipe, they are easy to customize.Jump to Recipe
The recipe you see below uses blueberries and a lemon glaze to give these scones their unique flavor. As long as you use the same ratios, you can use practically any substitutions you like – perhaps chocolate chips, or currants, or diced strawberries. The possibilities are endless.
In addition to utilizing a simple baking process, this recipe is also nice in that it mainly requires kitchen staples. You’ll need the classic all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. For wet ingredients, you just need milk, an egg, and vanilla bean paste. You’ll need a flavoring – I used frozen blueberries here – and a drizzle – for which I used powdered sugar and lemon juice. The most important ingredient in this recipe is unsalted butter, but not your standard room temperature butter. This butter works best when it is frozen. Throw it in the freezer at least an hour before you plan on baking, because that is crucial for obtaining the perfect final texture in these scones. Now, let’s start baking – I’ll explain more as we go along.
Start by combining the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Next, grab your butter and a cheese grater. Grate the butter into the bowl containing your dry ingredients. (If you don’t have a grater, you can use a knife or mandolin slicer to chop the butter into tiny pieces, but a grater is really the safest and most effective way to do this.)
Why bother grating in frozen butter? Why not just use fridge-temperature butter? The colder your butter, the longer it will remain in one piece during your scone-assembly process. We want this butter to take up a fair amount of physical space in the final dough. As the scones bake, the butter will melt, both releasing steam and leaving an air pocket behind. This will make your final bake a much more airy and light treat; nobody wants a scone that’s hard as a rock.
Once you have grated your frozen butter into the dry ingredients, use a pastry cutter to thoroughly combine your mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat your egg before stirring in the vanilla bean paste and whole milk. Completely combine before pouring into the bowl of your dry ingredients. Pour in your blueberries atop the wet and dry ingredients.
Gently mix your ingredients until they are just combined. Don’t overmix! Press them into a cohesive ball and transfer to a lightly floured surface.
Press your dough ball into a disc roughly 8 inches in diameter. Wrap this disc in plastic wrap (or your favorite eco-friendly alternative) and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. (Remember how we were talking about the importance of frozen butter? This extra chilling time will help stabilize the now-softened butter and promote an ideal final texture for your bake.)
While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Once your oven has preheated, place your chilled disc on a piece of parchment paper and slice into 8 equal wedges. If you like, you can brush your sliced dough with additional whole milk or half-and-half to give it extra sheen.
Bake your scones for 20-25 minutes, until the center is set and they are golden brown. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
(Yes, I know – my lovely wedges didn’t keep their shape after baking. This is what happens when you use frozen blueberries instead of fresh. The frozen blueberries released a fair amount of additional liquid into the dough which caused the final product to lose definition. Luckily, this does not negatively impact the final flavor or texture of the scones; in pictures farther down in this post, you can see that they still cut beautifully once cooled. If you want your scones to be a bit more Instagram-worthy right out of the oven, I recommend using fresh blueberries.)
Whilst your scones are cooling, prepare your glaze. Place 1 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl and mix in 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. (If you would prefer a more traditional glaze, you can substitute milk or cream.) Stir continuously. 2 full tablespoons of liquid will give you a fairly runny final texture; if you would like your icing to be more viscous, add additional powdered sugar or less liquid.
Once your scones have cooled, drizzle with the lemon glaze. Slice and serve to your guests, who by now are certainly wondering if they can sample whatever is producing that wonderful smell in your kitchen.
Whether you’re making scones for a royal wedding, a baby shower, or just your own pleasure, I hope you enjoy them. If you make them for a fun event, I’d love to see pictures! Please tag @WhiskAverseBaking on social media, or leave a message in the comments below.
Blueberry Scones with Lemon Drizzle
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter frozen
- ½ cup half and half
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice can substitute milk or cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Grate the frozen butter into small shreds. Use a pastry blender or food processor to mix this into your dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together your whole milk, egg, and vanilla bean paste. Pour this mixture and your blueberries over your dry ingredients. Mix until just combined – do not overmix!
- Use your (clean) hands to gently work the dough into a ball and place it on a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into a disc, roughly 8 inches in diameter.
- Place the dough disc in the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Once your oven is preheated, place your scones on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Use a large knife to cut your scones into 8 equal wedges.
- Optional: brush your scones with an additional 1 teaspoon of whole milk.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the scones are just beginning to turn golden brown.
- Allow the scones to cool on a wire rack. While they are cooling, make your glaze. Combine 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix until the glaze has no residual lumps and pour over cooled scones.