Summer seems so far away. It is, actually, a long way off, but I have good news. You can have a delicious blueberry scone months before June, when they are actually in season. The secret is dried blueberries. These are tiny, flavorful wild blueberries and they're here to jog your memory. Remember sunshine? Remember twilight fireflies? It's just around the corner. Thank goodness for dried fruit to bridge the gap. They may not be juicy, but they are jammy, concentrated, bits of summer flavor.
Making scones isn't hard. Really. I've made scones before going in to work at 9:00 in the morning. If you had any idea of how easy they are, how rewarding they are, you wouldn't accept the sad substitutes pawned off on you with your morning latte. Those are not scones, my friends. There is a huge difference. Mainly, a real scone as a life-span shorter than a butterfly. They were meant to be enjoyed moments after coming out of the oven. They can last a few hours after that, but they go downhill fast. But if you have a freezer, then fresh scones are mere steps away.
Step one: Toss some sugar, salt and flour together. Step two: Cut in butter (preferably with your pastry cutter you bought in Amish country!). If a food processor is a staple appliance in your life, as it should be, it's the work of seconds to blend this together. Step three: Add the cream/ buttermilk and stir/toss until a shaggy dough comes together. And no longer! Turn dough and flour particles out onto a board and pat/ knead gently until soft as a baby's bottom.
Cut this buttery round of deliciousness into six or eight triangles and place on a baking sheet. At this point, you could stick the pan in your freezer ( if you have room, that is) and freeze for an hour or two, until hard and then pack them into freezer bags to save for a rainy morning breakfast. After about 20 minutes or so, scone nirvana is yours to enjoy.
The flavor possibilities are endless with scones. That's part of the reason I love them so much. I used the last of my meyer lemons to flavor these, but regular lemon would be just as lovely. I'm partial to orange and currant, myself, and be sure to stop back for Baked Sunday Morning where I'll be showcasing an incredible Carrot Coconut Scone with a citrus glaze. I'll be using that glaze for more than just scones, too, by the way. Quick breads, muffins, cupcakes, cookies-- they're all just a vehicle for getting powdered sugar spiked with orange juice into my mouth.
Back to today's scones, though. They are simple, classic and the perfect excuse to take ten minutes in the morning to yourself. I recommend a nice, bracing cup of Earl Grey to go with the lemony zest and berry sweetness. They might even make you a morning person. I know I would get out of bed for one of these beauties.
Meyer Lemon and Dried Blueberry Scones
from Bon Appetit
3 c. self-rising flour
1/2 c. plus 1 1/2 T. sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, in 1/2" cubes
1 1/2 c. dried wild blueberries ( about 10 oz.)
1 c. plus 1 T. buttermilk
1 1/2 T. grated Meyer lemon zest
Adjust oven rack to upper third of oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in butter or rub in with fingers until crumbly. Add blueberries and toss to coat. Combine 1 c. buttermilk and zest in a measuring cup and add to flour mixture. Stir gently until dough mostly comes together, then turn out dough and floury bits onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat together until uniformly blended and form into a ball. Cut in half to make two portions and form each into a 1"-thick round. Cut into 6 triangles. Move to baking sheet and brush with some of remaining buttermilk and sprinkle with rest of sugar. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick in centers comes out clean. Repeat with rest of dough.