19 June 2011

lemon blueberry scones

So, I realize that it's Fathers Day and I should be somewhere eating steak with my daddy. You should know, though, that I am a good daughter and I called my dad just now. Take that. As for the steak-eating, he's doing that in Portland, taken care of by my lovely mom, and I am here, telling you about these scones. C'est la vie when you move out of the country.

I've made these scones about umpteen-jillion times now... for showers, brunches, or just for myself when I have a craving for a buttery pastry. They are delicate yet flavorful, not too sweet, and bake up quite quickly. Be prepared to make a bit of a mess (if ever there was a time to use your silicone baking mat, this is it) but know that it will be worth it.

I took these to a bridal shower tea party yesterday and they were well-loved! I make them with soy milk, which leaves them a bit lighter and fluffier than typical scones (which I happen to love), but if you're into a richer, creamier texture to your scones, by all means use the heavy cream that is called for. I'll leave the choice up to you.

Happy Father's Day! What did you do for your daddy today?

Lemon Blueberry Scones
{adapted, slightly, from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, henceforth ATKFC}
makes 8 (photos are of a double recipe)

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
1 cup heavy cream or soy milk

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift or mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, or pulse in a food processor (I like making my scones by hand, and dislike washing all the parts of my food processor by hand. I leave the choice to you). Scatter the butter pieces and lemon zest evenly over the top of the flour mixture and cut butter into flour using a pastry cutter or pulse in food processor until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

2. If using food processor, transfer mixture to a large bowl. Gently stir in blueberries. Stir in milk or cream, gently, with a rubber spatula until a dough begins to form. (I often find that slightly less than a cup of liquid is perfect; you don't want the dough to be too sticky. I suggest pouring in 3/4 cup of the liquid at first, then add more bit by bit until the consistency seems right. There's nothing worse than working with dough that's too sticky.)

3. Turn out dough along with any floury bits onto a floured counter and knead until it forms a rough, slightly sticky ball. Pat into a circle, about nine inches in diameter, and cut into 8 wedges with a knife or bench scraper. Place wedges on an ungreased cookie sheet (or line your sheets with parchment).

4. Bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature- but quickly, because scones are always best the first day!

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