I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this very well could become your go-to scone recipe. Even if you do not consider yourself a “scone person” – I’m telling you – this recipe produces the most buttery, almost pie-crust-flaky, morning treat, with a craggly caramelized sugar crust and a burst of gorgeous berries in every bite. Yes, it is a tad more labor-intensive than your average scone recipe, as it requires you to massage frozen butter into flour with your hands, but I’m betting you can handle it. And yes, it requires a bit of planning ahead, as the dough needs to rest, and the scones do best at holding their shape if they are frozen after shaping. But I can’t stress enough how delighted you will be with the result – as will your friends and family. It’s a scone game-changer, folks. No joke.
To take a peek at the original blog post for my berry scones, and to peruse my collection of original recipes, click here
- 2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup creme fraiche
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen
- 1 generous cup berries of your choosing, frozen
- sugar in the raw for decorating
FOR EGG WASH
- 1 egg
- splash of heavy cream
in a small bowl (or a two cup pyrex measuring cup), whisk together the vanilla, creme fraiche and cream and place in the refrigerator.
whisk the flour, soda and sugar together in a large bowl and set aside. cut the butter into cubes or thin slices (easier said than done, of course, as the butter is frozen, but your goal is just to have workable, relatively small bits of butter). add the butter to the flour mixture and toss with your hands to cover all the butter with flour. then begin rubbing the butter between your fingers and into the flour, until all the butter is pea-sized, or smaller.
make a well in the center of the butter/flour mixture and add the (now (ideally) quite chilly) vanilla/creme fraiche/heavy cream mixture. using a rubber spatula, incorporate the liquid into the dough. the dough should look like a craggly and lumpy mass, with bits of butter and a little loose flour. add the frozen fruit, mix, and place the dough in the refrigerator overnight (this is optional: i do think a rest makes for a taller scone and allows the flour/butter mixture to more thoroughly absorb the liquid, but it can be skipped in a pinch – or you could let it rest for a shorter amount of time).
this dough is VERY dry. do not be alarmed – or tempted to add more liquid.
after the overnight rest, use your hands to smoosh the dry bits of dough into the wetter ones in an effort to bring the dough together into a single large mass.
dip a 2 to 3 inch biscuit cutter in flour (to make scone removal less sticky) and press a puck’s worth of dough into the cutter. using your fingers, push/slide the dough shape from the biscuit cutter on to a parchment-lined baking sheet. if the dough pucks are flaky and dry-ish, with pockets of butter throughout, you’re on the right track.
after forming all the scones, place the tray in the freezer until the scones are frozen solid, about two hours or – preferably – overnight. if you’re stretched for time, you could skip the overnight freezing step, but it really helps the scones hold their shape when baking.
preheat the oven to 375 degrees. combine the egg and heavy cream together in a small ramekin, and brush the tops of the scones with the wash. sprinkle sugar in the raw on top of the scones and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.
the scones are done when the bottoms have browned and the tops are crackly and the sprinkled sugar looks caramelized. if your scones are frozen, they will bake for closer to 20 minutes. but like with anything you bake, start checking on the scones a few minutes before they are supposed to be done.
let the scones cool only slightly before serving.