Lemony Blueberry Scones
This is the second part of my blueberry boom.
Blueberry scones remind me of frantic mornings and burnt tongues. For the past two years, I have been taking chemistry classes, all of which have had 8AM exams and finals. Unfortunately for us cranky and tired pre-med hopefuls, the nearest cafe didn’t open until 8AM as well. On chemistry exam days, the opening line for this cafe would be excruciatingly long and extra jittery. We were sacrificing precious test time for caffeine after all.
My exam combo was always a coffee–cream only–and one of the cafe’s giant blueberry scones. I would noisily scarf down the scone and wait for my drink to cool down, with always an hand on my cup lest I knock it over and cause a mess in the 100-student room.
Through Pavlovian conditioning, I felt jittery whenever presented with a blueberry scone.
However, it is summer and the time for exams is far away.
And with the abundance of fruit and time, I decided to recreate my morning treat. I wanted something healthier and bursting with plump, fresh blueberries. I like all things tart and lemon happens to play well with blueberry. This scone is soft, mildy sweet, and the perfect foil to my bitter coffee.
This recipe, adapted from Ina Garten, makes a good base for any sweet scone. The whole wheat flour can be substituted for all-purpose if you don’t have both. Garten’s recipe used orange and cranberries and I swapped in lemon and blueberries. You could omit both for simple cream scones. The choice is yours.
Whole Wheat Lemon-Blueberry Scones
Adapted from Food Network
Made 8 scones
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
Zest from one lemon
½ cup white sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and diced or grated
1 large egg
½ cup heavy cream or whole milk, cold
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
Optional: Raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the lemon flavor to infuse into the sugar.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Toss in the butter and using either a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut and pinch the butter in the flour until the pieces are about pea-sized or smaller. In a liquids measuring cup, beat together the cream, egg, and vanilla extract. Pour the cream mixture into the flour bowl. Mix with a spoon, and about halfway the process, when it looks like the flour and liquids are mostly combined, add in the blueberries. Continue mixing — transition to light kneading with your hands if need be.
Gather the soft and lumpy dough into a ball, and transfer out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust the top with flour as needed. Pat down and roll out the dough with a pastry pin into a circle 1-inch thick (I like my scones tall but you can go as low as ½-inch to get a bigger circle).
With a long, clean knife or pastry chopper, cut the dough circle into eighths. If you wish, you could brush the tops with cream or milk and sprinkle on some raw sugar for a sweet crunch. For the scones you see here, I only opted to brush the tops with milk. I also adorned each scone with more blueberries on top — it’s fun to push them into the dough!
Arrange the scones on a baking sheet about 2 inches away from each other. My scones were baked very closely and they ended up expanding into each other.
Bake for 20 minutes in the middle rack of the oven. Watch closely though; these babies tend to brown well towards the end. Pull them out when the tops are light to golden brown. The scones may be soft when they’re out but will finish cooking as they rest on the pan.
Serve warm or at room temperature with butter and jam. These will keep in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature and freeze well.
Shaping the dough is the fun part!
The end result: