Scones: the breakfast of champions. If you can find a scone worth eating anyway. Good scones are like unicorns, or perhaps Loch Ness resident Nessie would be a more apt comparison. You know she’s out there. You know she’s more magical than perhaps any other fabled creature you’ve seen. Yet every purported sighting so far has led to disappointment, you know that good ol’ Nessie is a lot more tricky to pin down than you’d think. So it goes with the scone of your dreams.
Short story: up until maybe ten years ago I HATED scones. They were totally not worth eating due in large part to their dry, crumbly, often tasteless interiors. Their soft exteriors weren’t much to write home about either. Then, lo and behold, I found my scone nirvana. In a small bakery located due North of my mother’s house was a bakery. A bakery with the most exquisite scones in the world. They had crisp, shatteringly light exteriors and light, flaky interiors with just enough heft so that you knew they meant business. My mom and I used to go get them for breakfast after our weekly weigh-in at Weight Watchers on Saturday mornings; they were worth falling off the plan for. Then tragedy struck. The bakery closed its doors, and I wandered in a scone desert for something like forty years. There were false sightings of similar scones of course, but none lived up to the hype.
Then, wouldn’t you imagine, the heavens opened and I struck gold. My sister and I were trying out a new bakery over the holidays and stocking up on enough bagels to get us through the 3 hour drive back to grandma’s house. While standing in line to pay, my dear sister pointed out that this bakery’s scones looked strikingly similar to those which I had put up on a scone pedestal. I rolled my eyes, and grudgingly pulled one out of the case, prepared to be disappointed yet again. I reasoned that the chocolate chips might make it worth eating. Long story summed up, if this bakery ever goes public, I’m buying stock.
While that bakery is a tad out of my way currently, it won’t be for long. But I needed something to get myself through the disappointment of coming home to shockingly cold temperatures, with enough wind to chill your bones, but without the benefit of snow to make the outside worth looking at. So I researched and researched, read through about 50 scone recipes, lists of dos and don’ts, and I present to you the closest homemade approximation to my scone nirvana that I’ve ever come up with. If you are without a happy scone bakery near you, these come together in minutes and are totally worth slightly delaying breakfast for.
Raspberry Lemon Scones
Yields 16 mini scones
1 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped frozen raspberries (or frozen fruit of choice)
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
Preheat oven to 400° F and adjust rack to upper third of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl, then cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal and transfer bowl to freezer. In a small bowl toss together raspberries with 1 teaspoon flour, and transfer bowl to freezer. Whisk together milk and sour cream or yogurt until thoroughly blended. Remove flour mixture and frozen fruit from freezer. Add fruit and lemon zest to flour mixture, tossing to combine. Add liquid all at once, and stir until just combined, do not over-mix. Over-mixed batter is the scone kiss of death.
Divide dough into 2 parts and pat each into a circle approximately six inches in diameter and half an inch thick. Cut each circle into eight wedges and transfer dough to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 13 – 15 minutes until bottoms of scones are browned and tops are just beginning to brown. Allow to cool slightly and serve with butter and jam.
serving size: 2 mini scones
calories: 260 • fat: 9.3 g • protein: 4.9 g • carb: 38.0 g • fiber: 0.7 g •
sugar: 10.2 g • sodium: 82 mg