Scones started off in Scotland as a type of quick bread in the early 1500’s. They are very popular in all of the “British Colonies” and have been for centuries. Scones became popular and an essential part of the fashionable ritual of taking tea in England when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788 – 1861), one late afternoon, ordered the servants to bring tea and some sweet breads, which included scones. She was so delighted by this, that she ordered it every afternoon and what now has become an English tradition is the “Afternoon Tea Time” (precisely at 4:00 p.m.). They are still served daily with the traditional clotted cream topping in Britain. When they made their way “across the pond” to the US, they had a slower start because we like our biscuits over here. Biscuits and scones are very similar, yet just like any “cousins”, they are different too. The differences between biscuits and scones are that scones typically have eggs in them whereas biscuits do not. Scones tend to be a little denser, drier, and not as flaky as biscuits. Just adding oats, fruit, herbs or anything else to a biscuit dough and cutting them in triangles does not make them a scone.
My dad was from Melbourne, Australia and my mother was from Port Arthur, Texas. My dad was used to scones and my mother was used to biscuits. When they first got married, my dad really wanted scones. My mom tried and tried to make them but they just never turned out right. They just weren’t what my dad was used to. So one day, my mom got fed up with trying to make scones and just decided to make biscuits instead. My dad said “Yes! That’s what I’ve been wanting all along”. Fortunately for me, I can easily make both. I have both the scones and the biscuits gene in me. 🙂
I made some blueberry scones to share with friends. They are so light and flaky. YUM! I am going to serve them with a little creme fraiche on the side. A creme fraiche is very similar to a Devonshire cream or clotted cream, which is what they are served with traditionally in England and her “colonies”. Both Devonshire cream and creme fraiche are similar to a soft butter, but are usually a bit tangier and not as sweet as butter. They also tend to be very thick and rich and velvety too. A perfect match for these light and flaky scones.
2 cups flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 TBSP cold butter, cubed
1 cup blueberries, coated in flour
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
Preheat the oven to 375* F or 190* C.
Mix the flour, dry ingredients and butter together. To make the scones really light and flaky, use either a pastry cutter of your hands and mash the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course sand. Then add the blueberries.
Mix the egg cream and lemon peel together.
Add the egg mixture to the flour and blueberries and mix just until a soft dough forms. DO NOT overmix or you will have tough, chewy scones instead of light, flaky ones.
On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into a round ball, then flatten out slightly, either by pressing it with your hands or with a rolling pin, until it is about 1/2 inch thick, then cut into wedges.
Place the wedges on a baking sheet. Coat the scones with an egg wash and sprinkle a little sugar on top of each scone.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until the scones are lightly golden.
Enjoy the scones with either Devonshire cream, clotted cream or creme fraiche or a little butter, and you can even add some lemon curd if you like as well. These light, flaky scones will disappear very quickly, so don’t wait to eat them.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.