02 September 2008

Blueberry Scones

My parents gave me a subscription to Cook's Illustrated one year for Christmas, and it wasn't a gift wasted. The magazine essentially takes classic recipes and perfects them, finding a way to get the best possible outcome.

This scone recipe is nothing short of brilliant: freezing the butter insures a very flaky scone; the bare minimum of kneading makes it incredibly light. Lemon brings out that fabulous blueberry taste, and folding in the berries rather than mixing in and breaking the delicate berries is nothing short of genius. I love love love this recipe, it is a classic I'll always use around here.

I made these late at night, so Hubs could take them to work the next morning for a "Breakfast Potluck" at his office. Why oh why doesn't my office do this?? Anyway. I took my pictures late over the light of the under-cabinet-LED lighting, so excuse the photos please. I did swipe one to keep and photograph (and sample), so there's a few shots of that too for you to enjoy.

Blueberry Scones
(from Cook's Illustrated, July 2007)

16 Tbsp. unsalted butter (2 sticks), frozen whole
1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1/2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. sour cream
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
1/2 c. sugar, + 1 Tbsp. for sprinkling (I used turbino sugar for sprinkling)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining ungrated butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 tablespoons butter for another use. Place blueberries in freezer until needed.

Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Following illustrations, fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.

Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.

Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.


Cate said...

I don't make enough scones! These look awesome.

Holly Wood said...

those look absolutely delicious!

Amy said...

yum! have you signed up to be a part of the cooks illustrated "test kitchen"? they email you recipes to try and give feedback on.

also, you have been meme'd - please post 6 random things about yourself!

Haley said...

These look fantastic! I love blueberry scones!

We'd like to invite you to participate in our September apple and peach recipe contest. All competitors will be eligible to win one of three prizes :)! Please email me, haleyglasco@gmail.com, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details: http://blog.keyingredient.com/2008/08/29/september-kick-contest/

Thanks :),
KI Blogger

Gigi said...

Those scones are picture perfect!

Brilynn said...

Those look awesome! I have plans to make raspberry cream scones tomorrow and I can only hope they turn out as well!

Maria said...

I love scones. I usually make Dorie's cream scones but I will have to try these too!

Christopher said...

I have now made this recipe three or four times. These are just awesome.

Laurie Alves said...

Hi Emme, Love Your page, just sorry I came to it this way....
I found it because I was google searching the originator of a photo.
Your photo has been stolen and pawned off as someone elses.
Here's the link:

If you have any questions feel free to contact me via G+
Love Love Love your page & this recipe!