When it comes to scones, it’s hard to beat a perfectly made plain one, served with fresh preserves and butter (or clotted cream or whipped cream, if you prefer). But while a plain scone might epitomize the category, I have to say that they’re not really my go-to scone for a couple of reasons. First, it’s hard to find a good one, let alone to find a shop – at least here in the US – that carries them on a regular basis. Most bakeries and coffee shops stock scones that are studded with fruit, glazed with frostings or otherwise spiced up. Second, I really like the scones that come with add-ins – provided that they’re quality scones, of course.
Blueberry is my top choice, just as blueberry muffins are generally in the muffin category. When I make scones at home, I will almost always use dried berries. Fresh berries have a lot of flavor, but they also have a lot of moisture andÂ I feel that this excess juice really interferes with the light and tender texture of the scone. Dried berries pack just as much flavor and sweetness, but in a smaller and more baker-friendly package.
The ultimate goal with a scone is to make sure it is not heavy and dense. The method for making the scones to this specification is a simple one: rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips. It’s not really necessary for the scone to be flaky in the same way that, for example, a pie crust is. This means that you don’t really need to hem and haw over whether your butter is cut in enough or too much; as long as you cube the chilled butter and mix it in halfway decently (and I’m sure you’ll do better than that!), you’re going to get a good result.
I mix the batter and drop it in dollops onto a baking sheet. They might not be as pretty as scones that are rolled out and cut, but they’re much easier and there are more peaks and valleys on top for the dusting of sugar to adhere to, anyway.
Blueberry Drop Scones
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup milk, plus more if needed
coarse sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add cut up butter and toss to coat. Using your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse sand. A few large bits are ok, but try not to have any pieces larger than an average pea.
Stir in dried blueberries. Add about 2/3 of the milk and stir. Add remaining milk gradually until the mixture comes together into a slightly sticky ball. Divide dough in eight even pieces and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a bit of coarse sugar, if desired.
Bake for 16-19 minutes, until scones are a light golden color. A toothpick should come out clean, but color is a reliable indicator for these.
LewisFebruary 29, 2008
I LOVE HOMEMADE SCONES!!!! I never thought about doing them as drop scones. I usually make the traditional triangle slices. You are absolutely correct though, you just can’t find good scones in the U.S. But luckily they aren’t too difficult to make and lend themselves nicely to being frozen for later use 🙂 Loved your story thanks so much for sharing!
JEPFebruary 29, 2008
Another vote for dropped dough scones! Dried cherries will be my add-in:)
PriscillaMarch 1, 2008
Ooh, those look good. Your French Dip Sandwhich looks deelicious! Aren’t they good?? *smile*
JessicaMarch 2, 2008
That looks yummy
Sondi BMarch 2, 2008
Can these be made with whole wheat or other kinds of flour?
AlanMarch 5, 2008
I made this recipe with dried cherries. I shredded chilled butter then mixed into flour mixture, like I usually do to get coarse sand dough for flaky crusts. The dough was so shaggy it would barely hold together. I baked some like that and some with a little extra milk (the extra liquid ones baked up the same). The texture was nice and light … but… maybe scones just aren’t my thing. I prefer something a little sweeter like “blueberry boy bait” coffeecake recipe from cooks illustrated.
I still use your dutch crunch bread recipe every few months though and I love reading your site every week. Thanks!
AshleyMarch 12, 2008
Yum I’m definitely trying these out! 🙂 I’ve never thought to just drop them on the cookie sheet instead of rolling and cutting the dough. Great idea – can’t wait to try it.
TeaLadyMay 25, 2008
Yup U’r right. Hard to find good scones on this side of the pond. And I do love them. Try different ones all the time. Visit me for some of my recipes. Will try these. they look really good!
sbsSeptember 24, 2009
Wow. It’s looking tasteful. I want my mother bake this cake.
I am looking forward to see your new food recipes.