I'm not generally a huge scone fan except for maybe cream scones. I mean, how can something made with butter and cream not be melt-in-your-mouth tender?! This time I went with a recipe that's a little lighter, but still pretty rich. Using CI's blueberry scone recipe, I substituted the blueberries for craisins and doubled the lemon zest. To further enhance the lemon flavour, I used Dorie's tip to rub the zest with the sugar. CI's directions tell you to grate frozen butter, but I skipped that step because I don't like cleaning the box grater with bits of greasy butter stuck inside. I know they say it's the trick and I would totally do it if it made a huge difference, but I don't think the texture of these suffered. As long as it's still pebbly with pea size chunks and you don't rub the cold butter into the flour completely until it's a uniform mixture, they should be fine. And... sometimes I actually do like to keep it simple! Overall, these were really fluffy and soft. Best of all they were still moist the next day, but needed to be toasted to bring back those addicting crispy edges.
I actually made this recipe last year after my England trip when I was searching for a recipe just like the yummy scones from Harrods. I saw one posted on the internet, but seeing as there isn't that much butter and is made entirely of milk makes me wonder if they will be soft and fluffy.
Lemon Cranberry Scones
It is important to work the dough as little as possible—work quickly and knead and fold the dough only the number of times called for. The butter should be frozen solid before grating. In hot or humid environments, chill the flour mixture and workbowls before use. While the recipe calls for 2 whole sticks of butter, only 10 tablespoons are actually used (see step 1). If fresh berries are unavailable, an equal amount of frozen berries (do not defrost) can be substituted. An equal amount of raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries can be used in place of the blueberries. Cut larger berries into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces before incorporating. Refrigerate or freeze leftover scones, wrapped in foil, in an airtight container. To serve, remove foil and place scones on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven. Heat until warmed through and recrisped, 8 to 10 minutes if refrigerated, 16 to 20 minutes if frozen. See final step for information on making the scone dough in advance.
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen whole (see note above)
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh, about 7 1/2 ounces, picked over (see note) (I used 1 cup craisins)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional all-purpose flour, for work surface
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon sugar, for sprinkling (3 1/2 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated (I used 2 tsp)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Grate butter and place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining ungrated butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 tablespoons butter for another use. Place blueberries in freezer until needed.
2. Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
4. Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes
5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
7. To Make Ahead: After placing the scones on the baking sheet, either refrigerate them overnight or freeze. When ready to bake, for refrigerated scones, heat oven to 425 degrees and follow directions in step 6. For frozen scones, heat oven to 375 degrees, follow directions in step 6, and extend cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes.