Published July 1, 2007.
We already knew what a blueberry scone could be—dry, crumbly, or dense. We baked over 800 scones to achieve what we knew a blueberry scone should be—rich, light, and flaky.
Real British scones are like British humor—steeped in tradition, dry as a bone, and often tasteless. The American versions run the gamut from misshapen muffin-like objects to big-as-your-head cakes.
We wanted to bring together all the best qualities we found in American versions of scones: the sweetness of a coffeehouse confection; the moist freshness of a muffin; the richness and fruit of clotted cream and jam; and the super-flaky crumb of a good biscuit.
We first developed the ultimate plain scone. Increasing the amount of butter and adding enough sugar gave the scones a subtle sweetness without being cloying. Sour cream and milk added a contrasting tang. But with this extra richness and sweetness, we found the traditional biscuit mixing method used in most scone recipes produced heavy and underrisen scones. Taking a couple of hints from puff pastry, we froze the butter to keep it cold as it was being cut into the flour and used a couple of quick folds to create layers of butter that helped the dough rise. We turned to another pastry—cinnamon rolls—for a hint on how to best incorporate the blueberries. To evenly distribute the berries without mashing them, we rolled the dough into a 12-inch square, pressed the berries into the dough, and then rolled the dough into a jellyroll-like log that we flattened into a rectangle before cutting out the scones.list of recipes