I used to hate scones. And whenever I was coerced to eat a scone, they were always bland, smothered in icing, or were so dry that it took a large glass of milk just to get them down. So to say the least, I was reluctant when Phillip wanted to make scones. But after trying his scones, I’m hooked. I have to admit that I am tempted to sinfully gorge myself every time we make these. Blackberries are my favorite fruit, and the lemon compliments the berries so nicely. The crust is so delicately flaky, while the center remains perfectly moist. Okay, so now that we are all salivating nicely, here’s how to make our Blackberry Lemon Walnut Scones.
This recipe is kind of long and involved. But don’t let that scare you off – believe me, it is worth it! Enjoy getting your hands dirty kneading the dough. It really can be a therapeutic experience if you let it. I have added lots of pictures to explain how this process goes, but if you have any questions, please leave us a comment and we’ll walk you through it. By the way, a big shout out and Thank You from the Bleeckers to Brandon and Kate Jung for letting us cook and photograph in their kitchen during Christmas break!
First, some suggestions – when you get to kneading the dough, knead and fold the dough only 6-8 times. You want it to keep shape, but in a ragged ball sort of way. Second, the butter should be frozen solid before grating, so if you are going to make these tomorrow, put the sticks of butter in the freezer tonight. Also, blackberries are a bit large, so cut them in in half before putting them into the dough.
Scones – What you Need
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter (frozen)
- 1 1/2 cups of fresh blackberries (cut in half and put in freezer)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Turn on oven and heat to 425 degrees – this is for when the scones are ready, but you want the oven hot. Then take out the 1 stick of frozen butter and grate it into a bowl. Yes, grate it – on a cheese grater or micro grater. This is what gives these scones that wonderful flaky crust and perfectly moist center. Be sure you don’t grate your finger – after all, butter is slippery. Once you’re done, place the butter in a bowl and back into the freezer for later.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining butter and set aside in a small dipping bowl- this will go as a baste on top of the scones when finished so they will brown nicely in the oven. Next whisk together the milk and sour cream, and put them into the refrigerator until ready.
- You will need a micro plane (aka “Zester”) or a grater with a fine level of grating for the lemon. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Make sure you distinguish between the baking powder and the baking soda – that is a great way to ruin this recipe.
- Add the frozen butter to the flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Mmm…butter…
- Add milk mixture to butter/flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. Don’t over-mix! 6. Transfer the dough to a flat, clean surface. The surface needs to be at least 1 foot by 1 foot. Make sure you add flour to the surface so the mixture doesn’t stick to the counter…7. Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour so your hands don’t stick. Knead the dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.8. Then, get your rolling pin out and sprinkle flour on it so it doesn’t stick. If you haven’t picked it up yet, this stuff is sticky!
Roll dough into a 12-inch long, 12 inch wide square. It doesn’t have to be exact, but it should look something like this: Use a spatula to scrape dough off of the counter. Now, fold the dough width-wise into thirds, one side over the other. Follow the pictures below.
It kind of looks like a burrito, doesn’t it? Now fold the dough again into thirds, until it is the size of a 5 inch square. Put the dough onto a floured plate and place in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill. Don’t skip this step. This temperature change is important!
9. After 5 minutes, flour your counter top and roll into a 12-inch square again. Get blackberries out of the freezer and spread evenly over dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Then, sprinkle your walnut pieces on the mixture, and press them down so they are slightly embedded in the dough as well. Use your spatula again to unstick the bottom of the dough from the counter top. Then roll up the dough tightly.Gently mold the dough into a rectangle. It should look something like this.Cut the dough into 4 equal portions (every 3 inches) then cut those portions in half diagonally. Just a hint – lightly mark the dough with your knife to make sure you are measuring correctly. If you make a mistake, pinch the dough back together and start over. When you are sure you have “scone-shaped” pieces, cut all the way through the dough. It should look something like this.Place the scones on a baking sheet, drizzle with melted butter and sugar, then place in the oven at 425 for 18-20 minutes, just until the bottoms are a nice golden brown. Suggestion – separate the scones, taking into consideration that the dough will expand.
- Let these cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving. Or you may burn some poor unsuspecting person’s mouth. Enjoy!
To refrigerate or freeze leftover scones, wrap in foil, and place in an plastic container. To serve, remove foil and place scones on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven. Heat until warmed through, 8 to 10 minutes if refrigerated, 16 to 20 minutes if frozen.