For me, scones were an acquired taste. Before having my first, I pictured it to be far sweeter than it actually turns out to be. A scone basically rides the line between biscuit and muffin. The biscuit-like technique of working cold butter cubes into the flour is paired with typical muffin garnishes such as fruit chunks, nuts, or a simple glaze. Scones are sweeter than biscuits but not quite as sweet as muffins. They are denser than biscuits but lack the springiness of a muffin. That being said, when it comes to scones, this one is my favorite recipe thus far. The blueberries and lemon add an extra bit of sweetness to appease my need for sugar and the cardamom brings a unique flavor to the batter. For me, the most necessary part of a good scone is raw sugar sprinkled on top for a sweet and subtle crunch. This blueberry lemon cardamom scone did not disappoint.
Blueberry Lemon Cardamom SconesFrom: Christina Marsigliese
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-¼ cup sugar
-1 tbsp baking powder
-¼ tsp ground cardamom
-¼ tsp salt
-6 tbsp very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
-2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
-1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp cold half & half cream, plus extra for brushing
-1 large chilled egg
-4 oz (about ¾ cup) fresh or frozen wild blueberries*
-coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom and salt.
3. Add butter and lemon zest and cut the butter in using a pastry blender or rub it in using your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pea-sized pieces remaining. Place the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up the butter.
4. In a measuring cup or a small bowl, beat together cream and egg with a fork until well blended. Gradually pour milk mixture into dry ingredients while tossing gently with a fork. The mixture will be shaggy. Sprinkle in blueberries and then fold mixture just until flour is moistened and dough begins to hold together. Do not over-mix or press too hard because mashing the blueberries will dye the dough purple (especially if using frozen berries). 5. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface and bring it together with your hands until it holds together. Pat it into a circle about 1-inch thick, pressing in loose bits. Use a 2.5-inch round to cut out 8 scones. Smush the scraps together to make the final scone (do not knead it anymore).
6. Transfer scones to prepared baking sheet, brush tops lightly with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
7. Bake until golden brown, 16-18 minutes. The scones are cooked through when they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom with your finger. Transfer to wire racks to cool slightly and serve warm.
*Note: if you use frozen blueberries, reduce the amount of cream by 1 tablespoon
photos by: Zac Wolf Photography