Today is the day for the favorite, the classic, the ultimate go-to. The scone recipe that makes making scones fun. The recipe that is reliable. If you’ve been waiting to try scones, try these. Bake a few, freeze a few for later. Share them with friends. Make them for guests.
yield: 8 scones
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, frozen whole
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz.) fresh blueberries
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 cup regular sugar, plus more for sprinkling (I like to use turbinado sugar for sprinkling)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter melted
1. Adjust the oven rack to middle position and pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Grate the 8 T of butter on a box grater (a food-processor works well here but is not necessary and I only ever use it half the time). Place the blueberries in the freezer until needed.
2. Whisk together the milk and sour cream in a bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
4. Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Following illustrations, fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.
5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated Online, as seen on Annie’s Eats
Recipe notes: (found here instead of at the top because – for the life of me – I cannot figure out how to format paragraphs on this blog today. grr.)
This recipe is a bit more involved that others, but it is well worth the extra effort. It is important that the ingredients are kept at the appropriate temperatures – butter frozen, milk/sour cream mixture in the fridge until needed, etc. It is important not to over-work the dough or it will become tough and we’re going for flaky. In step __, when you mix the milk mixture into the dry ingredients the dough will NOT come together easily with a few turns of a spatula. I typically dump it out – and it is very loosely packed together, with lots of crumbs – onto the cleaned countertop or a pastry board and gently bring it together with well-floured hands.
Cook’s Illustrated notes that if fresh berries are unavailable, you can use frozen ones as a substitute (do not defrost). Also, an equal amount of raspberries, blackberries or strawberries can be used in place of the blueberries. These larger berries should be cut into 1/2 to 1/4-inch pieces before using. I have yet to try this. I will someday. It’s just that the blueberries ones are so good.
To freeze for later, simply place the formed, un-baked scones on a plate in the freezer for about twenty minutes until firm. Transfer for a freezer-safe container (I use a freezer bag), label and bake straight from the freezer, adding a few additional minutes to the baking time, keeping a close eye to make sure they do not burn.