It's amazing how something that's so simple to make can be so perfectly satisfying. For all the baking that I've done, this was my debut scone recipe. Why, you may ask? Because until these scones were pulled from the oven's warm embrace, I didn't know anyone else who was a fan of the crumbly little triangles. I was fearful that if I made a batch, I would end up eating all of them on my own (because I feel empathy towards under-appreciated food and will consume it so as not to hurt its tender disposition). This jaunty recipe, however, converted several self-described scone haters into lovers.
The reason most people dislike scones is usually because they're too dry and perhaps a bit bland. These darlings do not fall into either nightmarish category. Since I'm a lemon head, I rubbed the zest of a whole lemon into the sugar before incorporating it into the other ingredients. Not only did this make everything smell like nirvana, but the acidic juices gave a much-needed moistness to the dough. Fear not for the strawberries, they still managed to assert their sweet flavour through the obliging lemon. The result was a soft, perky sweet scone with a perfect kick of lemon. Another reason to love scones; they only take a few minutes to throw together.
Lemon-scented Strawberry Scones
(adapted from Confessions of a Tart)
1 cup strawberries, washed, dried and cut into pieces
Zest of one large lemon
6 Tablespoons sugar
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, in cubes, slightly softened
2/3 cup half-and-half
6 Tablespoons of sugar ( depending on your preference, use more or less.)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, carefully toss the strawberries with a small amount of sugar and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and the lemon zest. Using your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar until very fragrant (the sugar will be deliciously moist). Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter and, using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, blend the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the half & half and stir just to incorporate (try not to overwork the dough.) Carefully fold in the berries.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to incorporate dry ingredients. Be gentle so you don't break up the berries + try not to overwork the dough. Sprinkle dough with flour if it gets sticky.
Press (pat) the dough into a circle 3/4 inch thick. If any berries peek out, push them into dough. Cut circle into 6-8 wedges, then transfer wedges to the cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between them. Sprinkle each scone with the 6 tablespoons of sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are just starting to turn brown and spring back when lightly touched. Mine began to turn brown after only 15 minutes so keep checking the colour.
Makes 6-8 scones