Today was the last day of work for one of the summer interns in my office, so I decided to mark the occasion with some baked goods. As I was contemplating what to make, I realized that I had one leftover lemon (from the sugar cookies with strawberry icing disaster last weekend) and a pint of heavy cream on hand. In my world, a lemon and a pint of cream only add up to one thing... Scones!
I love scones. When made properly, they are light, tender, and crumbly. While I have several scone recipes in my regular rotation, my favorite sweet scone -- by far -- is the Strawberry Scone recipe from Clementine in Los Angeles. It was published in the Los Angeles Times Culinary SOS Column on April 27, 2005.
The recipe calls for 9 ounces of butter, which is cut into small chunks and frozen. The frozen butter is blended with cake flour in a food processor. I have never tried making these scones by hand, but I imagine the result would be quite different; after a good whirl in the food processor, the butter becomes completely incorporated into the flour such that no identifiable bits remain. (In fact, this recipe is the main reason that I asked for a new Kitchenaid 12-cup food processor for my birthday two years ago.... The 7-cup Kitchenaid processor I was using at the time couldn't hold all of the flour for this recipe and I had to process the flour and butter in batches. Thanks for the food processor, Mom!) Then you add baking soda, salt, lemon zest, dried strawberries (this time around I used dried blueberries instead), and heavy cream. You knead the dough for a few turns, cut it into scone shapes, freeze the scones for a bit (so that they hold their shape better), brush them with some more heavy cream, sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar (I buy my coarse sparkling white sugar by the pound from the King Arthur Flour Catalog), and bake.
These beauties comes out of the oven golden brown and sparkling. They break cleanly and crumble without resistance at the slightest bit of effort. So delicate... and so delicious!