Growing up, my family wasn’t much of a baking family. Sure, we liked pastries, but that mostly consisted of bright pink boxes filled with doughnuts that my father would sneak into the house on the weekends. My dad knew my favorite doughnut, and would always make sure the no one got to it before I did. Our Saturday morning treats might not be kinfolk worthy, but I am so thankful that it only took a pink box for my family to spend some quality time together.
As I have gotten older, I’ve made sure to limit my doughnut intake, but whenever I indulge in a fried, sugar coated treat I often reminisce about my family and our time together. Since moving to Washington, my heart has ached for my family. Thankfully, they were able to visit us last week. We had a marvelous time together, which included a lot of sightseeing, and a lovely day spent blueberry picking. While I was tempted to surprise them with doughnuts one morning, I instead decided to make them fresh scones using the blueberries that we had just picked. My brother, who had just turned 11, was eager to learn how to bake, so I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to teach my brother something new, while also creating a new family tradition that didn’t include doughnuts. I intend to make scones with them again for our next encounter, but until then, I have my lovely memories to keep me company.
BLUEBERRY BUTTERMILK SCONES
2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
zest of one lemon
1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch squares
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup blueberries
1 egg+ 1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten
Equipment: Large bowl, baking sheet, parchment paper, whisk, zester, pastry brush, cooling rack.
*If using fresh berries, place them in the freezer for as long as possible, this will help the berries maintain their shape when mixing the dough.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Line baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper; set aside.
Place the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and mix with a whisk until all ingredients are combined.
Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture, and begin to rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until the butter breaks down, and begins to resemble course crumbs. Alternatively, a pastry cutter or food processor could be used for this step.
Add the blueberries to the bowl, tossing a few times to coat in the flour. Next, pour in the buttermilk, and begin to fluff the mixture with 2 forks until the dough comes together.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently press the dough into a circle that is about 7-inches in diameter, and about 1-inch thick.
Cut dough into 8 equal wedges and place onto prepared baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the scones with a little bit of the whisked egg and water. Sprinkle desired amount of sugar over the tops of each scone.
Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and bake for 14-17 minutes, or until the scones are firm and golden in color. Make sure to rotate your rack halfway through the baking time, as this will ensure even browning.
Transfer fresh scones to a cooking rack until ready to serve.