A few weeks ago I bought this huge bag of lemons, about four pounds worth. My first thought was to make lemon bars but I just made cherry brown butter bars and didn’t want to have another recipe very similar to my previous. Enter these scones. All the ingredients you should have on hand to make a batch, and just like other scone recipes, you can easily adapt them to include different kinds of dried fruit and citrus.
The recipe below is a small batch recipe that only makes six scones. For me, this is perfect, because there’s only two of us. The scones will last one maybe two days in an airtight container, but you will definitely notice some texture changes even after a few hours. They will stay nice and moist, though, due to the glaze on top. Speaking of the glaze, do not skip it! It’s delicious and brings so much lemon flavor to these scones.
Much like every other pastry recipe on this site, make sure your butter is cold! You’re trying to get that nice flaky texture inside so be sure that the butter is cold and you don’t overwork it causing it to melt. When that cold butter hits the hot oven, it will create steam, giving you that flaky texture as a result.
Another thing to keep in mind when making scones is to not be afraid of your dough if it looks dry at first. Before you dump the dough onto the counter to gently knead it, it’s okay for there to be some dry patches of flour. There’s a lot of hidden moisture in the dough. Too much liquid will weigh the scones down and make them chewy. If, after a few turns for kneading, the dough is still a little dry, add a few drops of cream to bring things together.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1-2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp butter, melted, for brushing the tops
- Sugar for sprinkling over the top
- 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1-3 tsp lemon juice, or enough for desired consistency
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the butter. Using either a fork or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse cornmeal, with some chunks of pea-sized butter still left.
- Add the lemon zest followed by the buttermilk. Using a spoon, mix until the flour is just moistened. It is okay if there are some small dry patches as this will be fixed in the next step. Add the cranberries but don't mix them in.
- Dump the entire mixture onto a floured counter. Using a bench scraper, or your hands, fold the dough over onto itself 12 times. If you notice the dough is a little dry, drizzle some extra milk over the top.
- Pat the dough into a 1 1/2 inch thick circle. Cut the circle into six even pieces. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.
- While scones cool, make the glaze by whisking the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice together. You want the glaze to be thick enough that it doesn't roll off the scones but thin enough that the glaze coats the scones. When the scones are cooled, drizzle each with some of the glaze.
Yields six scones. Store in an airtight container for one or two days. Recipe from ZoeBakes.