Scones are like biscuits that have an English accent and sip tea with its pinky extended. They’re subtly humble, while being bougie at the same time. Naturally, I love them because they remind me a lot of myself. These particular Blueberry Lemon Scones- with their zingy Lemon Glazed tops- are going to make you pine for Spring.
Get Yo’ ‘Ish Together
Can you tell I’m feeling kind of ‘hood today? I don’t know what’s going on today, but I’m feeling more “DMX” than usual. These scones should balance me out.
For this blueberry lemon scone, you’ll need all-purpose flour, which has the perfect amount of protein to produce a slightly tender baked bread; salt and sugar for flavor, and a leavening agent (baking powder). These scones are flavored with lemon zest and fresh blueberries (or dried, if you can’t get fresh). Instead of using dried blueberries, I fold in plump fresh berries and a generous amount of lemon zest for ample blueberry lemon flavor. The brightness of the lemon peel and the sticky-syrupy blueberry juice, which bakes out of each scone, make these kid-and-adult-friendly (and easy to make). A wet mixture of large eggs and cream is used to add an create more leavening, and to moisten the flour and form a dough.
We’ll also need powdered sugar (which is synonymous with confectioner’s sugar) and freshly squeezed lemon juice for our glaze.
A Cohesive Dough Begins in Stages
Never trust a recipe for a dough or batter that begins with everything being dumped in at once. Something’s going to be sacrificed in that product- be it tender flakiness, or a well-mixed dough. You can’t have a great product and one-step mixing. Because of that baking reality, you first need to combine, then sift, the dry ingredients in this recipe together in a mixing bowl. Sifting dry ingredients is a great way to make light, airy, baked goods (like these blueberry lemon scones). The sifting aerates the ingredients, which makes them lighter. In turn, your dough is lighter and fluffier after baking.
This is also when I add the lemon zest to the mixture. I prefer to add it now (instead of with the wet ingredients) because the flour coats the pieces of lemon zest and creates a covering, which allows for them to be evenly distributed throughout the dough. Doing this means I have surprise appearances of zest in each bite. Be sure to use a microplane to zest your lemon’s peel. Anything larger than a microplane will leave you with large pieces of peel, which will cross the line into too much peel in one bite.
Once you’ve sifted the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder once (or twice), and folded in the lemon zest, you can set this bowl aside.
Mix the Wet Ingredients
As with the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients need to be mixed together separately. Use a whisk to combine the lightly beaten large eggs and the heavy cream. Do this in a smaller, separate mixing bowl, then set this to the side.
Trick to Getting Flaky Blueberry Lemon Scones
The trick to flaky, high-rising scones (or biscuits) is well-encapsulated, COLD, pieces of butter which steam when exposed to high heat. Steam will eventually evaporate; when it does, it leaves a void behind in the space it once occupied. That space reveals itself as flaky layers in your baked goods. Glory be to steam!! But, to get that steam, we, first, need to coat our pieces of butter in flour. BUT! We also need to keep this butter as cold as possible before, during, and after this process. The quickest way to achieve all of the above is with a grater. Grate your unsalted butter directly into the bowl of sifted flour.
Now use your hands to pinch the shreds of butter into the flour and create a mixture that has the appearance of a really coarse cornmeal. The goal is to work quickly to prevent the butter from warming too much and turning the flour into a gummy mess.
Pour the all of the wet mixture into the flour and knead the dough with your hand- just until the flour has been absorbed. Overworking the dough at this point will not only warm it, but it will also develop a significant amount of gluten, which will make the scones tough.
Gently fold in the fresh (or dried) blueberries.
The Pros and Cons of Using Fresh Blueberries
The pros of using fresh anything is that it tastes amazing and you feel good about yourself. I mean, I do, at least. I prefer to use fresh ingredients whenever possible, but to be honest, fresh blueberries can be messy. They are delicate so, naturally, they’re going to be squished when you mix them in. For me- who won’t be graded by my family- the mess is not that big of a deal. Even the fact that I’m photographing this to impress you, my friend, doesn’t deter me from using fresh berries.
That said, dried blueberries have a stronger blueberry flavor, so you won’t lack for taste if you opt to go the dried berry route. All of this is to say that if you have a serious aversion to seeing smooshed berries (don’t you just love my strong culinary vocab), then you can replace the fresh blueberries with dried.
Knead (Gently) and Cut
I mentioned earlier that gluten-development comes as a result of too much handling. Once the blueberries have been added to the bowl, you only want to knead the dough just enough to get them evenly distributed throughout. Turn the scone dough out onto a floured surface- you may need to sprinkle about a cup of flour over your work surface. Knead the dough just until the flour you added earlier is no longer dry and loose, and the blueberries are embedded and incorporated.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangular shape. I’m not overly concerned with exact measurements, but you’re goal is a sheet of dough that’s three-quarters to one-inch thick. Use a bench scraper (or a sharp knife) to cut the dough into triangles of equal size.
You may think that scones should be round. I’m going to tell you to banish that heathen mentally right now. Cutting scones into circles means scraps. Scraps mean you’re going to re-form them, re-roll them (HELLO GLUTEN DEVELOPMENT), and re-cut them. All of that means you’re going to have some tough, chewy, ol’ nasty scones just for the sake of what shape they’re “supposed to be”. No, thank you. Cut them into triangles or squares, please.
And be sure to use a sharp knife when cutting your scones. Cutting straight through the layers, instead of sawing through them, prevents the layers of fat and dough from sealing together. This will give your layers a chance to flake up and stay separated.
Make ‘Em Pretty
After you’ve cut your scones, arrange them on a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Pop the pan into the fridge and allow your scones to chill while you begin heating your oven. Even if you’ve preheated your oven (go you!) the scones will still need to chill for at least a half-hour to achieve maximum flakiness. This helps the butter to harden again.
While your scones are chilling, make an egg wash. Egg washes are the unsung heroes of the bakeshop. No other item has made more breads and pastries look prettier, or sealed more hand pies and hot pockets than the egg wash. I applaud you egg and water! An egg wash is an egg yolk (if you want color) or egg white (if you want shine) that has been beaten with a tablespoon of water and brushed onto a baked good. Using one or the other part of the egg will give a beautiful, shiny exterior to anything it’s brushed on.
When your scones are done firming up, use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of egg wash onto the surface of each scone. Don’t go overboard on the egg wash, though. Any egg that runs over the sides of the scones has the potential to keep those layers from rising fully. It’s also not that appetizing to see a crust of baked egg yolk on the side of the scone.
To finish the scones, sprinkle a generous pinch of turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw) onto the tops of each scone.
Place the pans into your hot oven and bake for twenty minutes- or until the scones are a deep golden brown.
Make the Lemon Glaze
Part of what gives these Blueberry Lemon Scones their appeal is the punchy Lemon Glaze that you’re going to drizzle on top of them. It’s stoopid easy to make too. It’s a light glaze, so all you need is confectioner’s sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Combine them together with a whisk and you’re done!
Once those golden brown scones are finished baking, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack. Because I enjoy my scones best when they’re slightly warm. I wait about ten minutes before I drizzle the glaze over them. If you don’t want your glaze to melt, wait until the scones are completely cool before drizzling it on.
For-freaking-real, this shot does things to my soul, Friend.
How to Enjoy Your Blueberry Lemon Scones with Lemon Glaze
I used to eat these scones plain with a bowl of yogurt and a huge mug of coffee.
But, that was before I developed this Meyer Lemon Curd. Spooning a huge puddle of lemon curd onto my plate and scooping it up with my scone is now my favorite way to enjoy these Blueberry Lemon beauts. Clotted cream is another- very traditional- way to top your scone. Clotted cream can usually be found with the spreads and preserves in your supermarket.
It doesn’t matter how you enjoy your Blueberry Lemon Scone, just enjoy it. Be sure to pin the recipe for easy locating. Grab some fresh blueberries on your next grocery trip and get these in the oven.
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Blueberry Lemon Scones with Lemon Glaze
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 medium lemons, zested (about 1 tablespoon of zest)
- 4 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 sticks (3/4 pound) cold unsalted butter grated
- 1 dry pint blueberries washed and dried
- 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon cold water beaten together (egg wash)
- turbinado sugar (or coarse sugar) for topping
- 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice plus more, as needed, to thin
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or with a silicone baking mat.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and the lemon zest. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, gently whisk together the eggs and the cream.
- Add the grated butter to the mixing bowl and pinch the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
- Add the cream-egg mixture to the flour and fold the dough until it comes together. Don't overmix.
- When the flour has absorbed the liquid, add the blueberries and gently fold them into the dough.
- Turn your dough onto a floured surface and fold the dough over itself 3-4 times. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a 9"×13" rectangle that's approximately an inch thick.
- Use a floured bench scraper (or a sharp knife) to cut the rectangle into triangles that are equal in size.
- Transfer the dough to your prepare pan and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the refrigerator and brush the top of each scone with the egg wash. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the turbinado sugar onto the surface of each scone.
- Bake the scones for 20 minutes or until golden brown.Once the scones are fully baked, remove them from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and glaze.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar and the lemon juice. Adjust the thickness of the glaze by adding more lemon juice (if it's too thick for your preference) or more sugar (of it's too thin).
- Use your whisk or a spoon to drizzle the glaze over each scone.
- Serve the scones with lemon curd or clotted cream, if desired.