I have a confession, I don't like scones. You see, during high school and for a couple years in college, Brian and I worked in a Barnes & Noble. It was a nice one with a Starbucks cafe built in. The eating options were slim around those parts and we found that stopping in the cafe was the easiest thing to do. So we ate the same thing over and over again. It was always a bagel with cream cheese, a panini, or if we were really desperate, a scone. In fact, I remember the guys in the cafe throwing scones at each other at closing. They were so terrible by the end of the day, that they became weapons! There was even a very quirky co-worker who took a scone home to her dog so he could have it for breakfast. FOR HER DOG.
But recently we did something we've never done before, a traditional afternoon tea. Our waiter brought out our tower of treats and said to eat the scones first because they were still warm from the oven. That's when we rolled our eyes. Scones are just flour-y pucks of sugar, tasteless, dry and boring. The tray looked dainty, and it was obvious that we would have to eat the whole thing in order to get our money's worth, so we bit into our scones. Lo and behold, our minds were forever changed! These were warm and buttery, flaky and delicate and delicious paired with cream and marmalade. I wanted 10 of them.
So I went home and searched for scone recipes online and came upon my favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen. This is her recipe for strawberry scones with a tiny tweak.
- 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 6 tablespoons of very cold butter, in small cubes
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 1 cup of very ripe strawberries (quartered or chopped further if large)
- 1 cup of cream
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk all of your dry ingredients together, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Sprinkle your butter on top and mash in with a pastry blender. Alternately, you can give it few pulses in a food processor. You want to work your butter in until it becomes a crumbly meal with small bits of butter in it.
Add in your lemon zest, and give it a quick whisk. Using a rubber spatula, gently add your strawberries in and stir until they all coated with your dry ingredients.
Add your cream in, and gently stir to incorporate your ingredients. Once it becomes a mass, stop stirring and knead into a large ball in the bowl.
Generously flour your counter/cutting board and move the dough ball onto your surface. Try to work your dough as little as possible as it will make your scones tough. Sprinkle four on top of your dough and either roll it out gently with a pin or press it down with your hands until it's about 3/4 inch thick. Either cut in rounds with a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or the top of a glass. You can also cut them in a traditional triangle shapes using a bench scraper. Carefully transfer to our lined baking sheet, leaving space between them to rise and spread.
If you have scraps left, you can re-roll and cut again. It makes the strawberries a little weepy but it's still bakes up fine. In fact, I kind of just free formed my last scraps into a round and it worked. Sure it turned into a Hulk sized scone but Brian was especially pleased to eat my mutant pastry.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until browned on the edges and the strawberries ooze. Let cool on sheet for two minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm.
I served mine with some fresh whipped cream and strawberries, brewed some tea and coffee and we had a wonderful light breakfast (and midnight snack). These are best eaten day of.
Take that Barnes & Noble cafe! You may have fooled me for years but I'm on to you. Now if I could only eat a panini.