I love this time of year, when the produce aisles are stacked with an abundance of fresh berries for much cheaper than usual. This week I found strawberries, blueberries, and cherries, all sweet, juicy, and ripe and all on sale. I’ve been packing them in my lunches this week but today I celebrated the holiday (and a day off from work) by baking some of them into scones as well.
I remember making scones back in high school. To be honest, I had never actually tried a scone, but they sounded elegant. In books, the characters always seem to eat scones while sipping tea in fancy parlors. This seemed to seep the word sophistication. I imagined scones as a dainty and delicate treat.
Well, my scones turned out anything but dainty and delicate. They were dry, dense, and lacking flavor. In retrospect, I think I probably made them with margarine (what we readily had on hand growing up) and probably over-mixed the dough as well. Regardless, I decided that day that I just didn’t like scones. A couple summers ago, though, some friends hosted a tea party. Naturally, several people brought scones . I tried one, just to be polite, and was surprised to find that I liked it. It was tender and subtly sweet and not at all like my dense attempt at scones.
So this past winter I finally tried baking scones again. And they were delicious! Unfortunately, I forgot to copy down the recipe I used then, but this recipe (adapted from this one) seems pretty similar:
Fresh Berry Scones with Lemon Glaze
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Zest from 1 lemon
8 Tbsp. cold butter (not margarine)
1 c. fresh berries (I used blueberries in one batch and cherries in the next)
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. yogurt (I used plain)
lemon glaze (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a baking pan.
Grate the cold butter through the large holes of a box grater (or cut it into small pieces by hand). In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Stir in the butter pieces (I mixed it with my fingers to help work the butter into the dough).
Wisk together the milk and yogurt. Add to the flour and butter mixture and stir just until combined.
Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface. Sprinkle the top with flour as well. Knead with well-floured hands 6-8 times, kneading in more flour as needed (be careful not to over-mix it). Roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Fold the dough into thirds like you would fold a letter. Then fold the short ends in thirds again to make an approximately 4 inch square. Place the dough on a plate and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Return the dough to the floured surface. Roll into a 12 inch square again. Sprinkle the berries over the dough and press them into the dough slightly. Then fold the sides of the dough in so that the berries are completely covered. Press or roll the dough into a long, thin rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Cut into triangles. (Alternately, you can roll it into a circle and cut wedges from that).
1/2 c. lemon juice (I used two lemons)
Zest from 1 lemon
2 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
Combined the ingredients and microwave for 30 seconds or until the butter is melted. Wisk the glaze, adding more sugar as needed until the glaze is runny, but slightly thick. Drizzle over the cooled scones.