Saturday, February 2, 2008

You Don't Have to Be Scottish to Make a Scone!

But it helps if you are!

These delicious fresh-blueberry scones were made for Lissa's birthday festivities.

Some tips for the perfect scone: Really cold butter, cold heavy cream, my grandmother's sifter, and a watchful eye--so that you can snatch them from the oven right as they start to turn a lovely golden brown.

Recipe: Blueberry Scones with Lemon Zest Glaze

Blueberry Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup fresh blueberries

Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Add a few drops more of heavy cream if the dough is too crumbly. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Be careful not to mash all the blueberries when you are incorporating.

Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the tops start to get golden and the edges are just slightly golden brown. Don't burn your scones! Or let them cook for too long and dry out! I set my oven for 15 minutes and then just watched them for the last 5. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

To make a simple lemon glaze, use a double boiler. Mix the lemon juice and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and butter. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

* The lemon glaze is very subtle and just a tiny bit tart. Feel free to add more sugar to taste. If you want a thicker glaze that is more like an icing, you can use confectioners sugar. I just wanted mine to be shiny so I stuck with the granulated variety.

I also sprinkled the finished, glazed scones with a bit of sugar.

I'd have to say that these came out fair to middlin, which is Scottish for "quite well!"

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