Does scone rhyme with “tone” or with “gone”? Most of the UK, Canada and Australia will argue that it rhymes with gone, while southern England, the Republic of Ireland and Americans argue that it rhymes with tone.
Scones are an important part of the anglo culture. They can be anything from a rushed convenience food to an elegant staple of high tea. Scones were originally a round, flat cake cooked in a skillet and cut into triangular wedges for serving. Nowadays, with baking powder widely available, they are baked in the oven and can be round, triangular or even square.
It is unseasonably warm this weekend in London (read: not grey and warmer than 15°C). To welcome the unexpected summer weather, this week’s recipe is for blueberry lavender scones.
These are not Mary Berry’s plain scones or the posh little rounds served at £50 high tea. These are rustic, but tender home-baked scones with flavor. The lavender adds a floral hint that pairs well with early-mid summer fruit like blueberries or raspberries. If you are not a fan of lavender, substitute with some lemon zest for blueberry lemon scones.
Blueberry Lavender Scones
Yields 8 scones
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lavender, ground into a powder
115g cold butter, diced
120ml cold heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
Preheat the oven:
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Mix the dry ingredients:
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if mixing by hand), whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lavender powder.
Cut in the butter:
With the mixer on low to medium, add the cold bits of butter and mix until the mixture is sandy with pea-sized bits of butter. If mixing by hand, use a pastry blender.
The goal here is the break up the butter and distribute it through the dry ingredients. The fat in the butter coats the flour and prevents some of the gluten development, resulting in a “shorter” dough. The larger bits of butter will create a flaky scone as the butter melts and the moisture evaporates in the hot oven.
Mix the wet ingredients:
In a small bowl or a liquid measuring cup, mix together the egg, heavy cream and vanilla extract.
Pour in the wet ingredients:
With the mixer on low, pour in the wet ingredients. Stop mixing just before it comes together so you can add the blueberries and finish mixing by hand. You do not want to over mix or the scones will be dense and tough.
Add the blueberries:
Add the blueberries and finish mixing gently with a rubber spatula, being careful not to crush the blueberries. (It is an impossible task, some blueberries will inevitably break, but the goal is to avoid making purple scones.)
Shape the scones:
Gently scoop out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a circle roughly one inch thick (2.5cm). Then, slice the circle into 8 equal-sized wedges.
Bake the scones:
Transfer the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Brush the tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake the scones for 18 to 20 minutes until lightly golden on top.