These are virtuous scones. The fat and sugar content are both low, giving you the sense that you’re doing something right. Everything is under control. You could even make these for breakfast during the holidays without feeling like you’re over-indulging.
Wait… does that make them sound unappealing? Because they’re not.
The secret of these scones is that they’re a fantastically comforting platform for a generous smear of butter and a healthy helping of jam. Serve them warm. When you bite into them, you’ll first notice the toasty, crunchy, sugary top, then the soft, crumbly middle of these darling little scones.
When Michael and I spent three days in Paris on the way home from our honeymoon, ostensibly to stave off crazy levels of jet lag, one of our first destinations was the Rose Bakery. I chose one of the fancier bakery items, but Michael stuck with a simple scone. It was served with obscene amounts of butter and jam, and was one of the very best things we tasted on that trip. We repeated our visit this past spring, hoping our memories hadn’t exaggerated the perfection of these scones. It hadn’t.
Let me repeat: these are very mildly sweet scones. Their charm is in their delicate flavor and texture. Serve them with butter or crème fraîche and jam. Drink some tea or coffee or hot chocolate. Relax for ten minutes. These are busy times–you need it.
Blueberry Scones (recipe lightly adapted from Breakfast Lunch Tea, the Rose Bakery cookbook)
Yield: about 7 or 8 scones
1-3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (the original recipe uses all-purpose flour with a handful of other flour tossed in, but I prefer whole wheat)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Grated zest of 1/2 orange or 1 lemon
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen; if frozen, don’t thaw them ahead)
1 egg, lightly beaten and divided roughly in half
1/2 cup milk (I wouldn’t use non-fat)
1 Tablespoon turbinado sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease a baking sheet with butter.
Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt to a mixing bowl and stir well with a fork. Add the butter and work it in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the citrus zest and incorporate it with your hands. Stir in the blueberries.
Stir one half of the egg with the milk in a small glass measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the egg/milk into it. Work the mixture with a fork, then with your hands, just until the dough comes together. If the dough is sticky, add a little extra flour. If it doesn’t all come together, add a little extra milk.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat out to about 1-1/4″ thick. Use a 2″ biscuit cutter to cut out scones. Place them on the prepared baking sheet. Carefully smoosh the scraps together to form more scones.
Brush the scone tops with the remaining 1/2 egg, then sprinkle them generously with the turbinado sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are beginning to brown.