We have had some gorgeous blackberries here in Oregon this summer and, besides eating them fresh, this recipe for blackberry scones is my favorite way to use them. Drizzled with a sweet and tart lemon glaze and topped with a little crunch of turbinado sugar they are heaven with a cup of French press coffee.
I’ve learned that the secret to flaky, tender scones is the same as when you’re making a pie crust. Keep your ingredients cold and use a light touch when working the dough. I like to use my food processor and pulse the dough until it just barely comes together then turn it out on the floured board to do the rest of the work. I’ll show you as we go along. If you don’t have a food processor, no worries, many purists would argue a fork or a pastry cutter does the job even better (not faster though, which is key for me if I’m making anything in the morning).
You probably already know this but it’s worth mentioning that this recipe would also work well with blueberries, raspberries, any berries really as well as stone fruit such as cherries, peaches, or apricots cut into small pieces. It even works quite well with chocolate chips and a plain vanilla glaze. I know this because of Ella who refuses cooked fruit in her scones. She might be spoiled.
Blackberry Scones with Lemon Glaze
(makes 8 scones)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons butter, cold (keep refrigerated until you are ready to add it)
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup milk (2% or whole)
2 tablespoons half-and-half or heavy cream
1 cup blackberries
1 tablespoon butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 – 2 teaspoons milk
lemon zest (optional)
turbinado sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Rinse blackberries and lay them on a towel to dry.
Line a half-sheet pan, jelly roll pan, or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor or a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse or stir until well combined.
Cut cold butter into small pieces.
Add half the butter to the flour mixture and pulse in the food processor or use a pastry cutter/fork to thoroughly combine the butter and flour mixture. Add remaining half of the butter in the same manner but don’t worry so much about thoroughly combining at this stage. Some small, unincorporated pieces of butter will make for a flakier scone.
Measure and combine the vinegar, milk, and half-and-half (or cream) together. The vinegar should cause the mixture to curdle and thicken a bit.
Beat the egg in a separate bowl and add it to the milk mixture.
Add the milk/egg mixture to the flour/butter mixture and mix together quickly either by pulsing in the food processor or using a fork to combine the wet and dry ingredients until they just form a dough, being careful not to overmix.
Turn dough onto floured work surface (large cutting board or countertop) and press gently into a rectangle (about 3/4 inch thick).
Place berries, diagonally, on one-half of the rectangle. If the berries are extra-large go ahead and cut them in half or thirds first. Fold the other half of the rectangle over the berries and pinch the edges together using your fingertips.
With a sharp knife cut, as shown below, into 4 triangles then halve those into 4 more for a total of 8 scones.
Place the scones on the prepared pan, leaving some space between them.
Bake approximately 25 minutes, until light golden brown, in preheated 375-degree F oven.
While the scones bake, make the glaze.
Zest the lemon with a microplane zester before juicing it. This is totally optional. You can use the zest as an extra little touch of color and flavor on top of the glaze or add it to the glaze. Or you can leave it out. Totally up to you.
Place the soft butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice in a medium-size mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth then add milk, gradually, until the glaze is just thin enough to drizzle as shown below.
After you remove the scones from the oven, you can allow them to cool slightly but you still want them warm when you drizzle the glaze over the top of each one. Then, if you like, top the glaze with the lemon zest and a pinch of turbinado sugar for a lovely little crunch.
Love this… It seems this is a time of transition for all of us one way or another. Never easy but I believe there are always better things to come.