I’ve always loved winter, but I love it even more since we moved to the Central Valley and are guaranteed a multitude of days over 100 degrees from the late spring into September. I don’t waste a moment breaking out my boots, sweaters, scarves and gloves as soon as I feel the first nip of fall in the air! But I must confess it is lovely to bring a taste of spring sunshine into the kitchen on a cold, foggy morning, and brightly flavored Lemon Blueberry Scones are just the ticket.
Scones are one of my favorite breakfast foods and I love baking them too. Pumpkin Spice with Caramel Icing in the fall (okay I admit I make pumpkin scones year round), Eggnog and Gingerbread at Christmas, Strawberry Rhubarb and Lemon Blueberry in the spring and summer…I’m never at a loss for a delicious flavor combination, and I’m aways up for adapting my favorite recipe with new fruits and spices. These Lemon Blueberry Scones were one of those on-a-whim adaptations and immediately became a family favorite. (Scones are also a wonderful gift to bring or send to family and friends near and far!)
Contrary to what you might think, scones are not difficult to make. I usually make the dough and refrigerate it overnight, then bake them in the morning. In anticipation of a delicious breakfast, I jump out of bed and preheat the oven as soon as I wake up, then cut the dough into wedges. While the scones are baking I make the icing or glaze, and top the scones after they’ve had a few minutes to cool. Yum!
Start by mixing the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in chunks of very cold butter using a pastry blender or two knives.
Add blueberries and lemon zest. You can use frozen blueberries too (very handy in the winter!).
Make a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture and pour in heavy cream, lemon extract and an egg (if you don’t want to use egg, add a little more cream as instructed in the recipe below). Use a fork or wooden spoon to mix gently until the dough comes together.
Dust your work surface with a little flour and turn the dough out, and knead gently 5-6 times until the dough is smooth. Form it into a round and wrap in plastic, then refrigerate the dough for 8 hours or overnight. (If you like you can bake the scones after you shape the dough, but I think they hold their shape better when they have time to chill.)
When you’re ready to bake the sconces, preheat the oven and unwrap the dough. Press it out a little to form a 10-12″ circle and cut into 8 wedges, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush them with a little cream and pop them into the oven.
Once the scones are golden brown, take them out.
While they’re cooling on the baking sheet, make a simple lemon glaze to spoon over the top. (Use a little more powdered sugar if you want to make a thicker icing that you can pipe over the scones.)
These store well covered at room temperature for 2-3 days (if they last that long), or you can wrap them individually and freeze. It’s always nice to know you have wonderful scones ready to go at a moment’s notice – take them out the night before and warm them in a 325F oven for a few minutes…then savor with a nice cup of coffee…or tea, of course!
I worship scones and danishes. If I never had another meal, I wouldn’t care as long as I could eat pastries and jelly doughnuts. Gene Simmons
- For the Scones
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 ½ Tbsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp./4 oz.) cold sweet butter, cut into chunks
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and dried
- ¾ cup whipping cream, plus 1-2 Tbsp. more for brushing the tops
- 1 large egg or an additional ¼ cup cream
- 2 tsp. lemon bakery emulsion or lemon extract
- For the Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (more if necessary for consistency)
- ½ tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, optional
- In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk the cream, egg (if using) and lemon emulsion/extract together until smooth; set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add the cold butter and use a pastry blender or two butter knives to mix until the butter is in dime-sized chunks.
- Mix in the lemon zest.
- Add the blueberries and, using a wooden spoon, gently mix them in.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the egg-cream mixture.
- Use the wooden spoon to incorporate the ingredients together.
- When the dough is mostly mixed, turn it out onto a floured surface, flour your hands and bring the dough together.
- Knead gently a few times until the dough is smooth, being careful not to break too many of the blueberries (don't worry if you do, it will be pretty and taste just as delicious!).
- Pat/gently press the dough into a round, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. (You can bake the scones at this point; preheat the oven while you make the dough - they will be delicious but do hold their shape a bit better when they have a chance to chill.)
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unwrap the dough and press out to a 10" - 12" circle, then cut into 8 wedges (10 if you want smaller scones).
- Place wedges on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with the additional cream. (If you don’t want to glaze the scones you can sprinkle the tops lightly with granulated sugar now.)
- Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the scones comes out clean, 15-25 minutes (start checking at 15). Cool completely on the baking sheet.
- While the scones are cooling, make the glaze: Mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla together until smooth.
- Add more lemon juice a little at a time until you have the consistency you want for drizzling on the scones.
- When the scones have cooled, drizzle the glaze on with a spoon (or, to ice with pretty lines, pour into a plastic bag and snip off a corner to use as a piping bag).