Wednesday, March 5, 2014

blueberry lemon scones

What can I say about scones? Being a descendant of both English and Scottish heritage scones are prolific in my childhood memories. Just sweet enough to be a dessert but not so sweet you feel guilty eating them as a late afternoon snack. Clotted cream, butter, and jam may be traditional, but these need no adornment at all.

These cream scones have a texture and crumb most American’s associate with biscuits, and are, in fact, more New England than United Kingdom in style. They are rich with butter and lightly sweet, but the tart blueberries and lemon gaze balance that nicely. They are, quite simply, addictive with a cup of tea or any hot caffeinated beverage you choose.

Recipe following cut:

Yeild: 12 scones

2 – 46cm x 30cm [13” x 18”] half sheet pans, parchment paper, rolling pin, orbital stand mixer with paddle attachment, medium 3.3L [3.5qt] mixing bowl, .50L [1 qt.] capacity mixing bowl, 500ml capacity beaker of measuring cup with spout, 60 ml [¼ cup] capacity measuring cup with spout, 60 ml [¼ cup] capacity small bowl, 30ml [2.5 tbsp] capacity pinch bowl, cutting board, flexible cutting mat, 20cm [8”] chef’s knife, 9cm [3.5”] pastry cutter, bench scraper, large offset pallet knife, microplane zester, 2.5cm [1”] wide pastry brush, wire whisk, 500ml [2 cup] capacity fine mesh sieve, large wire cooling rack ~40cm x 50cm [15” x 20”]

540g all purpose flour [~4 cups]
10g all purpose flour [~ 1 tbsp]
55g granulated sugar [~¼ cup]
24g baking powder [~2 tbsp]
14g fine grade sea salt [~2 tsp]
340g unsalted butter, cold [~¾ lb 1½ cups, or three sticks]
250g eggs, cold [~4 extra-large] 250ml
230g heavy whipping cream, cold [~1 cup] 250ml
170g blueberries, dredged with flour above [~6 ounces or a scant cup]
10g lemon zest [~ one lemon]

54g egg, room temperature [~1 extra large]
15g water [~1tbsp] 15ml

175g confectioners sugar [~2 cups]
50g freshly squeeze lemon juice [~scant ¼ cup]

Mise en place:
Weigh flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the work-bowl of the stand mixer, and fix into place.

Weigh heavy cream and eggs into the beaker and set beside the stand mixer.

Weigh blueberries and dredge with 10g measurement of flour, set aside until needed.

Remove zest from lemon using the microplane zester and collect into the pinch bowl. Set beside stand mixer until needed.

Cut the butter into 1 cm cubes, [~½”] and place beside the stand mixer.

Beat the egg and water together in the small bowl until homogenous and set aside.

Weigh and sift confectioner’s sugar into medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Cut zested lemon and squeeze the juice into the small measuring cup, using your fingers as a sieve. Set aside with the confectioner’s sugar.

Preheat oven to 210ºC [400ºF]

Turn mixer on low and allow it to combine the dry mixture for thirty seconds. Add the zest and allow it to distribute evenly through the dried ingredients. Approximately 30 seconds. Add cubed cold butter and mix on low speed until it resembled coarse sand with some pea sized pieces of butter remaining visible.

With the mixer running, pour in the egg and heavy cream mixture. Mix until a dough forms and begins to cohere into a ball.

Add blueberries and pulse the mixer one to three times to incorporate the berries.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and pat into a loose circle. Roll or pat the dough down to 2.5cm [1”] thickness. Use the bench scraper to fold the dough over itself folding it in half from top to bottom and then again from left to right.

Roll the dough into a 2cm [¾”] thickness and cut into rounds with the pastry cutter.

Transfer cut scones to the sheet trays, approximately 6 per tray.

Stack the scraps on top of each other, and re-roll once.

Brush the top of each scone with egg and water mixture (egg wash) just before baking.

Bake 20 – 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

When scones have cooled, whisk the lemon juice into the confectioner’s sugar to create a thin glaze. Adjust the thickness of the glaze to a drizzling texture with water or confectioner’s sugar if needed.

Place the wire rack over one of the sheet pans and drizzle the glaze over the scones. Allow to set before serving.

Make ahead:

These are truly best the day they are made, but keep for up to a week in an airtight container. Warm individual scones for 20 – 30 seconds in a microwave just before serving.

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