I have a strategy when it comes to choosing recipes from my to-make list. In the summer months, said strategy is mainly focused around what fruits or vegetables are in season. As you may well know, the New England growing season isn’t a long one, and for some fruits, we wait sometimes upwards of 2 months for arrival at the farm stands.
Luckily, blueberries arrive fairly early on in the NE growing season and they peak in July. It’s really no wonder why they show up in so many 4th of July desserts — aside from the obvious use of their blue color, of course.
Our plan this year is to pick a hot July morning next month to do some pickin’ and it’s quite possible that I end up with an army of blueberries as I did with strawberries a few years back. Next year, our plan is to plant blueberry bushes and I can’t tell you how excited I already am about this!
Before we hit the fields, I’ll satisfy my blueberry cravings with these scones. Dare I say they are the best scones I’ve ever eaten?
I realize that’s kind of a big thing to say but I won’t lie to you, you know that. These are the melt-in-your-mouth kind of scones you dream of eating. The kind of scones most recipes only promise to give you. These are the real deal.
Flaky, tender, buttery, and not a bit guilt-free. These are my kind of scones. And to sweeten the deal a little further, since blueberries really are available year-round, there should be nothing holding you back from baking up a batch on a cold wintery morning as opposed to a hot July morning when you have a house chock full of visitors…like say, this weekend?
I’d venture to say that if you threw in a few strawberries to this recipe, you would also have quite the patriotic breakfast on your hands. I certainly wouldn’t argue with a breakfast like this one!
- Prep Time: 25min
- Cook Time: 18-25min
- Yield: 8 large scones
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen whole
1½ cups (7½ oz.) fresh blueberries
½ cup whole milk
½ cup sour cream
2 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat to 425˚ F. Grate the frozen butter on the holes of a large box grater or use the grating attachment for the food processor (no messy hands!). Place the blueberries in the freezer until needed.Whisk together the milk and sour cream in a medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Combine the flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula just until combined. Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and knead with well floured hands, 6-8 times, just until the dough holds together in a ragged ball. Add small amounts of flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Roll the dough into a 12-inch square. Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter (a dough scraper really helps with these steps). Fold the short ends of the dough into the center in thirds, to form an approximate 4-inch square. Transfer the dough to a plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Return the dough to the floured work surface and roll into an approximately 12-inch square again. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the surface of the dough, and gently press down so that they are slightly embedded in the dough surface. Using a dough scraper, roll the dough up to form a tight log. Lay the log seam side down and press the the log into a 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using a sharp, floured knife, cut the rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar. (If freezing ahead of time, flash freeze on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then wrap individually and store in a freezer bag until needed.) Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
Entertaining from Cook’s Illustrated, Spring 2009, via Annie’s Eats