Friday, April 25, 2008

Tyler's Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

When my blogtastic friend, Michael Paul, asked me to make scones, I immediately said SURE! Again, as I often do, I said this without ever having made them. But as I always say "How hard can it be?" So I started to research. Who would've guessed that there would be so many opinions about scones? Apparently many people have differing ideas on what makes a good scone. Some complain about scones being too dry, hence the need for jam or clotted cream. Some hope for something a little more sweet and moist like a pastry, as opposed to something resembling more of a biscuit. British scones, American scones, Irish scones, and on and on and on. Where does one begin??
Then I remembered seeing Ina Garten make scones on her show, The Barefoot Contessa. I'm a HUGE fan of the show, and frankly, in my humble opinion, she's brilliant. I've learned SO much about cooking, just by watching her. I figured, well, if anyone knows how to make a good scone, Ina Garten does. So, I tried her recipe for Cranberry Orange Scones.
They looked beautiful, they had wonderful flavor, but it was all about the texture. They were a little bit dry for my taste. Nothing against Miss Ina, of course. Some would say that classic scones are supposed to be on the dry side. I guess I'm just one of the ones who likes his scones on the pastry side of things rather than the biscuit side of things.
So, then I tried Tyler Florence's Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze. THIS was the scone recipe that I wanted. They're light, they're moist, they're flavorful, they're not dry, and I wanted to eat more than one. Well, OK fine. I did. I brought some for Trish and her Mother to try and they both loved them (even though they both usually don't like scones). Trish's Mother loved them so much she asked if I could show her how to make them sometime. I said "How about right now?" So, I hopped in the car and went right over to Trish's house to make them. True story!
So, Michael Paul, oh blogmeister, Yes, I'll make scones for you the next time you visit NJ. You'll love 'em!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup fresh blueberries
Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough.

Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

Technically you should make this simple lemon glaze in a double boiler (i.e. over a pot of simmering water with a heatproof bowl set on top) but it's even simpler to zap it in the microwave. Mix the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and butter. Nuke it for 30 seconds on high. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

A few ideas from Joey:
I made this recipe twice, and both times I added an extra little splash of heavy cream because the dough wasn't pulling together as well as I wanted.
Even though I liked Tyler's better, there are a few things I liked about Ina's. So I guess my favorite scone would be a cross between the two:
After brushing them with cream as with Tyler's, I sprinkled sugar over them, which gave them a nice sparkly crust just like Ina's. I LOVED the fresh berries from Tyler's and the flavorful orange zest from Ina's. So, I think the next time I make these, they'll be Fresh Blueberry Orange Scones with Orange Glaze. Fabulous!


Michael said...

Joey, you're the greatest. Not only are you a great cook, but an entertaining blogger too. And I ain't just saying that because I got a mention. Blogolicious? I'll try baking this with the girls this weekend. Yay!

Michael said...

OK, one question. What if I use salted butter? Does it make a difference? Do you usually buy unsalted?

Anonymous said...

You can certainly use salted butter, but just cut back a little on the salt that you add. Different salted butters have different amounts of salt, so by using an unsalted butter and adding your own, you can control the amount of salt in your scones.

Michael said...

Ah, made the scones tonight. They were delicious. I agree with adding the extra cream. One more blop made the texture feel right.

Sarah couldn't stop licking the bowl. I rested easy, because for once she was licking a batter without raw eggs!

The lemon topping was very delicious, but not really traditional scone for me. It wasn't dry enough!

Delicious, though. Thanks!

Just Me!! said...

Although I do like Blueberry's I can't help but think these would be awesome with fresh Raspberries instead!! What do you think, and do you have any suggestions if I was to substitute for the fresh Raspberries??

Joey said...

I usually don't bake with fresh raspberries because they're so delicate and fragile. I would just suggest GENTLY folding them into your dough and handling them as little as possible. Let me know how it goes!