Perfect Blueberry Scones

I have probably said this before but I will say it again: I am not a baker. My dough is always crumbly and brittle and doesn’t roll out evenly. But I made a commitment to baking this quarter, and so I thought I would try scones.

I found THE PERFECT RECIPE. Why is it perfect? Because it came from America’s Test Kitchen. If you don’t know what America’s Test Kitchen is, you should. It is an actual kitchen in Boston that has a staff of chefs and taste testers that work to find the greatest version of a recipe. So more often than not all of the recipes they publish are fantastic because they have spent weeks perfecting it. My family and I made a great ham from their holiday edition magazine.

I am horrible at following recipes. This is probably why I am not an accomplished baker.But as an experiment I followed this recipe exactly, no matter how ridiculous it seemed at times. Rolling the blueberries and dough into a log distributed the berries well and also made for light flaky layers. The reason the blueberries aren’t simply stirred into the dough with the other ingredients is because it can lead to over mixing and also it may even dye your dough purple.

The scones are flaky on the outside and soft on the inside. They are not overly sweet and have a kick of lemon that works so well with the blueberries. I passed them around to my friends, and they were a hit.

Makes 8 scones//America’s Test Kitchen

  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen whole
  • 7.5 ounces (1 1/2 cups blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of butter.  Grate unwrapped ends on large wholes of box grater (grate a total of 8 tablespoons).  Place grated butter in freezer until needed.  Melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining ungrated butter and set aside.  You will not need the remaining 6 tablespoons, so go ahead and put it away.  Whisk milk and sour cream together in a medium bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Whisk flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt together in medium bowl.  Add frozen, grated butter and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.  Fold in chilled milk mixture with a spatula until just combined.  Do not overmix.

Turn dough and any floury bits out onto a well-floured counter.  Lightly flour hands and dough and then knead it 6 to 8 times until it just holds together in a ball.

Flour your surface again because my dough stuck to the counter at first and made a huge mess.  Roll dough out into a 12-inch square.  Fold sides in to make a long rectangle.  Then fold sides in again to make a 4-inch square.  Transfer dough to a lightly floured plate and put in freezer for 5 minutes (do not overchill).

Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and roll again into 12-inch square.  Sprinkle berries over the square and press them in lightly.  Loosen dough from surface and roll it into a log, then pinch the ends closed.  Lay dough seam side down and press into 12 by 4-inch rectangle.  Using floured chef’s knife, slice dough crosswise into 4 equal rectangles.  Then slice each rectangle on a diagonal into 2 triangles.

Place scones on prepared baking sheet.  Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar.  Bake until scone tops are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Grate frozen butter

Butter and sugar the tops

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