Scones were one of the first items on the menu when I opened Cafe 222 in ’92. My version is a bit lighter than a traditional English scone. I substitute buttermilk for cream to give them a flaky, rather than creamy, texture. I also add an egg, which will have any proper tea-sipping English lady dropping her jaw (and her teacup) right about now.
This recipe can be doubled or tripled depending on how many scones you have room for in your freezer. This method of freezing worked at the café because I would make them in big batches and the bakers would pull them out of the freezer and make them fresh daily as needed. This is also how many production bakeries keep ahead of the demand.
The key to this recipe is that they bake better from frozen than they do from fresh. The butter melts from its ice-cold state and creates steam, which lifts and creates pockets and layers during the baking process, making for one flaky, sweet biscuit. Terryl Gavre, owner of Cafe 222 and co-owner of Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant; breadandbutterismyjam.com
Buttery Scones with Dried Blueberries and Lemon Zest a.k.a. Sweet Biscuits
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp grated lemon or orange zest
- ¾ cup good quality butter, well-chilled or frozen, cut into cubes
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup dried blueberries (substitute chocolate chips or nuts)
- sanding sugar for dusting
- Place all dry ingredients, including zest, into a large bowl. Whisk to combine well.
- Using a pastry blender or your fingers, combine butter with the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles the texture of dry oatmeal.
- In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and egg and then slowly add all but 1-2 Tbsp to dry mixture. Use the excess only if you need it to hold the dough together.
- Gently fold in dried blueberries, chocolate chips, or nuts.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface, dust hands with flour, and gently work the dough just enough so that it stays together. Gently shape into a round disk approximately one inch thick.
- Cut into 6-8 equal triangles and place, unbaked, on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least an hour, preferably two. Once fully frozen, you can place them in airtight freezer bags and store for up to a month or two.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Bring desired number of scones out of the freezer and place on a lightly greased baking sheet about two inches apart.
- Brush the tops with a little milk and generously sprinkle with sanding sugar.
- Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.
- Serve warm with butter and your favorite jam.