Scones, scones and more scones make a perfect little pastry for breakfast, brunch, lunch or an afternoon snack! These enticing treats are light, flaky, buttery and endlessly versatile. I have made them with sweet ingredients such as black currants, tart cherries and chocolate to savory ingredients like ham & gruyere, bacon & cheddar and are a summer breakfast.
Currently the weather is beautiful here in the Low Country and therefore we are picking blueberries every other day! That means I'm daily making something with blueberries, so don't miss out on making these popular recipes:
Today, I am making traditional scones and incorporating luscious freshly picked blueberries.
What do I mean regarding making a "traditional scone"? Well, the scones you have had a million times from your local coffee shop are typically a heavy buttery, crumbly and sometimes too sweet pastry.
These traditional scones are not very sweet, perfectly balanced between sweetness and saltiness, flavored with lemon zest and vanilla. Perfect combo for blueberries! Gently drizzled with cream cheese frosting. Yummy!
And YES, scones are cousins to southern biscuits, even though everyone from the South would love to arguethat point. While biscuits most likely originated from the British scone, they have been transformed and now are the scone’s buttery cousin. Because of the extra butter, biscuits are or at least should be lighter and fluffier with tender layers.
Check out this recipe for true Southern biscuits, but with a little secret; they are super easy to make because they contain only 2 ingredients:
QUALITY OF INGREDIENTS
Why am I always so stubborn when it comesto quality? Why is each ingredient, even those that are unseen, should be the Best of the Best in my mind? Because EVERYTHING THAT GOES INTO OUR BODY MATTERS!
Let's start with flour; for this recipe the best flour would be regular all-purpose flour, not whole wheat, sprouted, cassava, almond or other healthier flours. Use unbromated, unbleached good quality all-purpose organic flour. I like this brand, because it has higher protein (gluten) content. Additives do not benefit your body therefore as pure as possible is the only way to go!
Butter - this ingredient is always available to my children at room temperature to eat as much as they want. Fat from animal sources provides energy in our diet and is the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones. Good butter REAL butter, from grass-fed cows is the most important ingredient. The problem is to find one. I like to use butter from a local farm called "Happy cow" or Irish butter. Yes, the type of butter that I buy can be left out of the refrigerator!
Baking powder - always aluminum free, if you can find one. You can make it yourself too; it's extremely easy, check out this post.
Even sugar and salt are important components. I like to use organic raw cane sugar. Regular granulated white sugar is made from GMO sugar beets and for this reason I like to stick with cane sugar. Salt such as Celtic salt or Pink salt gives our body minerals that are very much needed.
Keeping scone dough as cold as possible prevents over-spreading. When scones over-spread in the oven, they lose the flaky, moist, and deliciously crumbly texture. In other words, they’re ruined. The easiest way to avoid disaster is to use cold ingredients like cold heavy cream, eggs and butter. Freezing for an hour before baking is a great practice.
Ingredients for the Scones
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for the work surface
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon pink salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder (aluminum free)
8 Tablespoons butter, very cold (let seat 15 minutes in a freezer before use it)
1/3 cup plain kefir (buttermilk or yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest from one lemon
1&1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 egg (for egg washing, its optional)
Ingredients for the frosting
8 oz cream cheese
4 Tablespoons butter (room temperature)
Zest and juice from half lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder together. Use your fingers to work the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse oats or use a vegetable grinder, like I did in the video.
In another bowl, stir the eggs, kefir, vanilla, and lemon zest together. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. The dough should have the consistency of wet drop-cookie dough. Don't over mix, because you will end up with dense heavy scones vs light and flaky.
Liberally flour your hands. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it in an 8-9 inch cake mold, lined with plastic wrap. Cover over with wrap, tack with your fingers into a perfect circular disk. And place into the fridge for an hour or longer, or freezer. The idea is to get the dough cold and butter hard before baking. You can do this step ahead of time, even up to one month.
Then take the mold out, flip, peel off the wrap, cut into 8 or 10 wedges or triangles. Using a dough cutter makes this step easy! Place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) between the scones.
Egg wash if you wish and bake for 15-17 minutes. Let cool down on a cooking rack.
For the frosting combine in an electric mixer or by hand all ingredients until nice and fluffy. Drizzle over the scones. They are best when they are fresh. You can freeze them without frosting for up to one month!
Scones are best enjoyed fresh from the oven, or within several hours of baking.