I’ve always loved scones, or at least as long as I can remember. I think my love of them stems from the fact that they are often not overly sweet. Typically made with fruit, these simple pastries also go well with a great cup of coffee. And I do love my coffee. Scones are actually a biscuit-like pastry or quick bread that are often rolled into round shapes and cut into quarters, then baked.
Scones, actually have a Scottish background and can be traced to the 1500’s. Originally made with oats and griddle-baked, modern-day scones are typically made with flour, baked in the oven and come in various shapes including: triangles, rounds, squares and diamonds. Some believe the name “scone” comes from Stone of Destiny, where the Kings of Scotland were crowned. Scones later became popular and an essential part of the fashionable ritual of taking tea in England.
My first exposure to great scones was at the well-known Plaza Hotel, a historical luxury hotel in New York City made famous by the well-known children’s book Eloise. I was lucky, my mom (who was a single parent) always found a way to expose me and my sister to special things she herself never had the opportunity to experience as a child. She loved watching us experience these things for the first time, but I could tell, she herself always enjoyed it as well. High tea at the Plaza was one of those special things. As a kid, this was a magical experience. I dressed in my fanciest outfit, complete with shiny paten leather shoes and perfectly groomed, ribbon tied pick tails. I can still vividly remember being escorted to our elaborately set china-laden table right next to the large window overlooking 5th Avenue. I was only six, but for a moment, I felt like royalty and my tomboy self loved it.
At home my sister and I often placed “restaurant“. My mother was always the customer and my sister and I alternated between being the glamorous waitress and the creative cook. High tea at the The Plaza was my make-believe play come to life. Known in the 80’s for their amazingly elaborate high tea service, The Plaza did not disappoint. What followed that afternoon was bottomless cups of tea for my mother and rich creamy hot chocolate for me and my sister. An endless array of beautifully assembled and meticulously arranged sweet and savory tea sandwiches, shortbread cookies of every possible variation, an assortment of French pastries, croissants and accompanying jams, marmalades, jellies, spreads, curds, of course perfectly baked, flakey, not-too sweet, delicious mini scones. I was in heaven.
This recipe for blueberry cream scones is inspired by my memory of my first introduction to scones all these many years ago. Mine are blueberry because that is my most favorite and I drizzled them with glaze and almonds because my boys asked me to. Top with a sprinkling of Demerara sugar (my favorite brand is India Tree) for an added crunch and subtle molasses flavor. These are a lovely breakfast or brunch sweet treat that are easy to make and an absolute delight if you love scones as much as I do.
Blueberry Cream Scones
- For the Scones:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, grated
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
- sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)
- For The Glaze:
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Step 2 For the Scones: In the bowl of a kitchen mixer, such as a KitchenAid, fitted with a paddle attachment, add the 2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. Add the grated butter mix on low to incorporate.
- Step 3 In a small bowl add the cream, egg and vanilla. Mix to blend. With the mixer on low, add the cream mixture and mix to blend. The mixture will appear rather wet.
- Step 4 Toss the frozen blueberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, toast to coat. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the blueberries. Use your hands as need but be careful not to over mix the dough.
- Step 5 With very floured hands, transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Form the dough into a round flat disk, about 8-inches across. Using a slicing knife, cut into 8 equal wedges and separate slightly so there is some space in between each scone. Place in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Step 6 For the Glaze: While the scones are cooling, make your glaze. In a small bowl add the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla, mix until smooth. If too thick, add some additional milk.
- Step 7 Drizzle the glaze over the scones as desired. Sprinkle with some sliced almonds and serve.