Say hello to the best scone ever.
You think I'm kidding? Well, I don't really make a habit of tossing around the phrase "the best ever" now, do I? There are very few recipes that make it that far. These chocolate chip cookies are one of them, as well as these popular nutella ones. These cinnamon rolls, and this cake. They're all the best ever, in their own way. Four recipes out of the ninety-four on my blog. That's pretty special!
Why exactly is this the best scone ever? Let me tell you.
I love having time in the mornings. Waking up with a quiet cup of tea, and then taking time to make a tedious omelet, perhaps a batch of more involved muffins, or a plate of steaming Belgian waffles.
But to be real, not every morning is like that. Most mornings are spent grunting at my family members while eating cold toast and waiting for my sister to get out of the bathroom. Or on other days, it means gagging down a yogurt when I'm not really hungry, but I have to be somewhere in five minutes.
Sometimes you just need a quick fix.
Enter scones. This recipe is the best of both worlds because while it's certainly a more involved one, the finished, unbaked triangles of dough can be frozen and then baked at your convenience. All you need to do is have the presence of mind to turn on the oven and watch the timer. In fact, I ended up forgetting about preliminarily brushing them with melted butter and sprinkling with sugar. And you know what? They were still fan-freaking-tastic (The powdered sugar was added after baking, just for the heck of it.)
Tender, fluffy, butter-y, and with a hint of crispiness around the edges. A muffin's fancy cousin, and breakfast's best friend (say that five times fast).
Yield: 8 scones
- 8 tablespoons (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 teaspoons. baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons 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 into a bowl, place in the freezer until needed. (A food processor with the grater attachment is useful for this, makes things go a bit faster.) Place the blueberries in the freezer until needed.
Whisk together the milk and sour cream in a small bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk together the flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl. 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, dough will be shaggy. 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.
With a floured rolling pin, 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 the scones on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag until needed. Bake straight from the freezer, adding on a few minutes of baking time as necessary.) 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.
Sources: adapted from Annie's Eats, who adapted it from Entertaining for Cook's Illustrated, Spring 2009