Some baked goods adapt well to “healthier” ingredient options: muffins with applesauce rather than oil, brownies with black beans, etc. Scones, on the other hand, need butter in order to be scones at all. The little flecks of cold butter dotted throughout the dough melt as they bake, giving off puffs of steam that give scones their light, fluffy texture. If someone has figured out a butterless scone, I have yet to hear about it.
These scones made an absolutely perfect breakfast this weekend, topped simply with blueberry preserves. My Better Half ate three of them while they were still warm from the oven, and because I’m a dainty lady I only ate two. Truly, they are best straight out of the oven; they will last for a day or two in an airtight container, but a little bit of the magic is lost once they’ve grown cold.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup dried currants
- ¾ cup cream (or more as needed)
- 1 tablespoon raw or turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cream or whole milk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Using a pastry blender (or two knives), cut the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in currants.
- Pour the cream over the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Do not over mix.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and press dough into a loose ball. Pat dough into a round about 1 inch thick and 6 inches in diameter. Cut the round into 6 wedges. Place the wedges 1 inch apart on the prepared pan.
- Make the topping: In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Brush the wedges with the cream or milk and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.
- Bake until puffed and golden brown, 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Consume immediately, or store at room temperature in an airtight container for a day or two.
Source: Adapted from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking (2003 Edition)