I took an amazing 6-week class in the kitchen of Posh Chocolate with owners Ana & Jason Willenbrock this past May. This class focused on baking and pastries but ended with a bang when we learned about chocolate...tempering, making ganache, making truffles. Mmm...anyway, I digress as this post is about blueberry scones and not chocolate (get your head out of the gutter Maggie!). We'll leave the chocolate making for another day.
Ana & Jason both studied at the Harvard of cooking schools, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), in New York City. These two are amazing, they know their stuff (maybe because of their time at CIA, but mostly because of their devotion to the profession) and they are the funniest, happiest, rockin-est people I know that own an upscale chocolate shop. But anyway, that's all to say: I learned a lot from them.
I adapted this recipe from one we baked in class, and this has been my go-to breakfast when company comes ever since. These scones are super easy to make, I can bang them out in about 10 minutes, and they are super versatile. I've made blueberry, raspberry white chocolate, chocolate & cinnamon, chocolate & nutmeg, and chocolate & orange zest. I have learned that using frozen fruit works much better than fresh. The fresh fruit tends to get smooshed too much and it doesn't look pretty. Not to fret though if you have fresh raspberries on hand screaming at you to be thrown into these scones. Just stick them in the freezer for 15 minutes before you add them to the dough and they'll be good to go.
The most important thing I learned about making scones during this class is to keep the butter cold and don't overwork it. See, butter is what makes the flaky layers in scones. If you overwork the butter or get it too warn and melt it, you will get a dense ucky yucky so-so pastry, rather than this flaky goodness:
Another fancy little trick I learned from Ana is to pat the dough out and not roll it. Like so:
|Pat pat pat..|
Its all about that pesky butter, and patting keeps the butter in good baking form to create those luscious layers. Mmm...
Finally, consider parchment paper your new BFF. Parchment paper knows how to work its stuff. Or at least keep anything and everything from sticking to your pan and your food. Parchment paper was originally made by God himself to reduce the frustrations of bakers everywhere. Pick some up, you won't regret it.
|That white stuff under the scones is parchment paper. |
It looks like regular paper, but its actually magic paper.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (or other ingredient of choice)
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. You can use a pastry cutter for this or use two knives and cut into the butter using a cross-way motion until crumbly.
In another bowl, combine the egg yolk and buttermilk and gently beat. Add to the flour mixture all at once. Work quickly and use a wooden spoon or your hands to work the mixture into a soft dough. Gently knead in blueberries.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a disc shape about 3/4" thick. Sprinkle turbinado on the top and then use a butter knife or pizza cutter to cut into 6 wedges.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.
Eat them while they're hot!
These also freeze well, so make a double batch to enjoy later.