When Easter is on its hippity-hoppity way, I often research and make some scrumptious Easter bread if only because there are so very many and they’re all so individually addictive. Once or twice, I’ve looked for a Scots version (as some of my folk come from Scotland), only to be disappointed because there really isn’t a Scots Easter bread unless you include Hot Cross Buns, which I guess you could in a pinch. (I think Hot Cross Buns are more Good Friday-ish. By the way, I made Nigella’s scrumptious version this year with a few easy twists I’ll share next Lent.) Last Sunday morning, I woke feeling a little sorry for myself –for both me the baker and me the Scot. Until I realized just WHY the Scots have no Easter bread. Who needs Easter bread when you’ve got God’s perfect bread — scones — hither, thither, and yon? (FUN FACT: Most folks in Scotland pronounce the word scone to rhyme with our pronunciation of the word done, by the way. So that’s skuhn to you and me!)Jump to Recipe
And so it was that husband Dave and I were soon chomping down on a big basket of tender, warm blueberry scones to go along with our crustless salmon and asparagus quiche, fresh fruit, and Bloody Marys (Is the plural of Bloody Mary spelled like that?) — more on that quiche recipe another time. I did, in fact, put butter on the table, too; these scones don’t need it one tiny bit. No matter how much of a butter person you think you are, just leave that stuff on the counter for another day. We enjoyed it all so much we barely made it to the nearly-no-seats-available 11:00 worship, though we needn’t have worried about being late since it went until 12:30. I pitied the poor parents of young children who had dined exclusively on chocolate eggs before coming to church and was also relieved we skipped that ill-advised second Bloody Mary at our house.
Where’d that scone recipe come from? Well, during the Covid lockdown in 2020 (now so long ago and far away, but sometimes not), Dave and I began making brunch at home as we so missed going out to brunch after church. Dave mostly cooked (quite a few of my recipes from the blog) and I mostly baked. Having all the time in the world, we tried all kinds of meals and one included Dawn Perry’s Sour Cream and Fruit Scones, published in the New York Times in May of 2020. A lovely recipe for a not too sweet breakfast or tea treat, her scones are made with frozen fruit that keeps the butter colder while it bakes—which produces an incredible flaky-pebbly scone.
I had no frozen fruit and adapted the recipe to make use of fresh fruit by using frozen butter instead. I also misread the recipe (Do I need new glasses again?) and used twice the milk required…only to realize it was a lucky mistake and produced a softer, airier, and oh-so-tender scone that also spread quite a bit in the oven. Hello, great big scones! Just for fun, as I had fresh blueberries, I repeated my process from 2020 (Thanks, Dawn!) and provide it here for you to make happy in your own kitchen. If you want the larger, softer variety of scone, read the COOK’S NOTES at the bottom of the recipe when you try this:
- 2 cups/255 grams unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the counter or board
- ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on scones before baking or freezing
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (4 ounces/113.40 grams) frozen salted butter, cut into ¼-inch slices or pieces
- 1 cup (190 grams) fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
- ½ cup 190 ml) sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup (60 ml) milk
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- PREP: Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the upper third. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- MIX DRY INGREDIENTS/CUT IN BUTTER: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, measure in the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the pieces of butter and pulse carefully only until you have pea-sized and smaller pieces of butter.
- TURN OUT FLOUR MIXTURE INTO A LARGE BOWL and stir in the blueberries. Whisk together the sour cream or yogurt and milk and tip that in. Using a table fork, stir until all the dry bits are incorporated, but the dough is still shaggy. Knead a few times until the dough barely holds together, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter or board. The dough shouldn’t be uniform, smooth, or neat.
- PAT DOUGH with floured hands into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar. Using a bench scraper or a knife, cut into first 2, then 4, then 8 (or then 16 for small scones) rectangles. Place on prepared sheet pan as far apart as possible.
- BAKE scones until golden, 18-22 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool for a minute or two before serving warm. Scones will keep for a day or two, well-covered. To reheat, split in half lengthwise, spread lightly with butter, and grill until toasty and hot in a stove top grill pan or skillet
If there's one breakfast treat that's absolutely perfect for preparing ahead, it's scones. The secret is freezing them at the point where they're shaped, but not yet baked, the obverse of bake and freeze – freeze and bake scones. Days (or weeks) later, when you're hurrying to make an early breakfast, simply pop those frozen gems into the oven, and within 20 minutes you're serving hot scones, ready for butter and jam. Freeze and Bake Scones/KINGARTHURBAKING
Over the next several weeks on the blog — we’ll see how it goes — I’m going to make more of an effort to include tips about how each week’s recipe will hopefully help you cut some food costs or how to cut costs for that recipe. I’ll use the above graphic as an aid and guide. Other tips will appear as needed, of course!
TIPS: June is when most U.S. harvests (of blueberries) occur with California, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, and New Jersey flooding the market. July is also a peak month as Oregon, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan supply the market, though pricing in these months is the lowest of the year.
- EXTRA EGG: You won’t need but a smidge of the beaten egg to brush the scones. Add the rest to your omelet, frittata, quiche, etc. or cook it up in a hot greased pan for the dog or you! If you don’t need it right away, cover it well and store it in the fridge for two days.
- FREEZING BLUEBERRIES: When blueberries are in their sweet, most inexpensive spot (and it’s not yet), freeze them unwashed in a gallon freezer bag. When needed, scoop out a cup and rinse quickly before using frozen in scones, muffins, cakes, etc. (Above blueberry harvest info is from Produce Blue Book.)
- CHANGE IT UP: Just for fun, google SCONES and see what all can be done with this versatile bread. Too, too many options! I’ve had fun making Dorie Greenspan’s savory Cheddar-Scallion scones from her newest book, BAKING WITH DORIE: SWEET, SALTY, & SIMPLE, where she has recipes for several yummy scones. I’ve taken them to a couple of dinner parties with rave reviews. Not all scones are for breakfast or afternoon tea.
- CUTTING FOOD COSTS: Include these scones in a once-a-week BFD (breakfast for dinner or weekend brunch) you’ve included in your weekly menu planning. Naturally you’ll also be following the cardinal rule, which is, COOK AT HOME FOR HEALTH, WEALTH, AND HAPPINESS! Not that I don’t want you (or me) to eat out in or take out from restaurants, but to save food $$, limiting those costly treats is essential. By learning to cook or bake new recipes, you will increase your skills and repertoire — which will grow a desire to cook more at home. You’ll eat better, cheaper, and with a bigger smile as your quality of life expands.
- SAVE THIS RECIPE to make for Mother’s Day or Memorial Day weekend if you can’t make it sooner.
LIFE GOES ON:
–the babies resting on the couch while mom cooks. Tucker (11) at left and Rosie (7) at right.
The wind is whipping today, as it has for days in Colorado. We’ve had more fires than I can count, though none– so far this week– have been terribly large. If you’re the praying sort, pray for rain. If not, put your rain dance on repeat.
Thanks for stopping and spending time in my kitchen. You’re good company!