Lemon Berry Scones

Right before our wedding, Nathan and I were invited to brunch at our friends Amar and Aliza’s house. Amar’s parents were in town and Auntie likes to treat us kids to dosas whenever she’s around. After (not) much consideration, we decided that even with a list of wedding to-dos staring at us, we of course could not resist the call of homemade dosas. I mean, a wedding is serious stuff but so are homemade dosas! So off we went … with a plate of scones in hand.

I love making scones. I love them not only because they’re tasty and delicious, but also because they’re easy, fast, way better when fresh and warm from the oven, and most importantly, the perfect baking project for us lazy people. Why? Because you actually want to mix as little as possible to ensure light, flaky, and tender scones. Oh, and they’re also the perfect thing to bring to parties because honestly, you don’t want a whole batch of them sitting at your house tempting you with their buttery goodness.

I’ve tried this recipe twice now and it’s worked out well both times. The first time was in the middle of blueberry season so I used fresh blueberries. This time, no blueberries were in sight at the store, so I experimented with chopped-up fresh strawberries and it still worked out quite well. Frozen berries should also work splendidly. I think in the winter, I might try this recipe again with dried berries to see if this is a recipe for all seasons.

Recipe adapted from The Cheese Board Collective Works. They give instructions for using a stand mixer also, but I like using my hands for these scones, since you absolutely do not want to overmix.

3.5 cups all-purpose flour (I like King Arthur and I sift before measuring)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar (+ 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter – cut into chunks and keep very cold
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh/frozen berries (e.g. blueberries, chopped strawberries)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment – you’ll probably end up using 2 baking sheets.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder in large bowl. Add salt and 3/4 cup of sugar to the bowl and stir with wooden spoon until combined.

Add in the butter chunks (cold from the fridge please!) and rub into the flour with your fingers. You want to end up with what looks like wet, coarse sand with pea-sized bits of butter. Add in lemon zest and berries and gently mix in with a few turns of the spoon.

Make a well in the center and add the cream and buttermilk. Mix briefly and gently, until the dough just comes together. You don’t need a totally uniform dough – bits of loose flour clumps and chunks of butter are totally fine and the dough should look rough and craggy. In fact, it’s more important to not overmix at this point or your scones will come out tough instead of light and tender.

Using a large spoon, drop balls of dough (~2 inches in diameter) onto the prepared pans, placing the balls about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar all over the tops of the scones.

Bake on the middle rack for 25-30 min, until golden brown, then move to a wire rack to cool. I’ve noticed that because they’re so buttery, the scones have a tendency to melt into what looks like little puddles during baking. Because I like my scones to be thicker, I usually pull out them about halfway through baking and then using two spoons, gently repack the puddles into little mounds before finishing the bake.

(Makes about 12 scones)