Today we’re taking inspiration from lush, late summer Maine blueberries and one of my most memorable dinner party desserts (tune in for the story!) to create a scone that is nostalgic and exotic all at once.
These delightfully flakey and buttery baked treats are bursting with molten fruit and a touch of orange blossom water to make them extra special. Once you own the orange blossom water, add a splash to iced tea! A drip over yogurt! A spoonful to salad dressing! And definitely as flavoring for sweet icing to drizzle overtop some truly irresistible scones.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
1 stick unsalted butter, very cold
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup cold heavy cream, plus additional for brushing
1 cold large egg
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries or frozen (don’t thaw if using frozen)
Turbinado sugar, if desired for sprinkling rather than glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon orange blossom water or lime juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
•Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the cold butter into small cubes or grate on the large holes of a box grater, then place the butter in a bowl and immediately put back into the refrigerator—it’s essential that the butter stay very cold for the most tender, light and flaky scones.
•In a medium bowl, use a fork to whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, egg, orange blossom water, and vanilla.
•Remove the butter from the fridge and add the butter to the dry ingredients. Toss to coat the pieces quickly in the flour, then use your fingertips to press and pinch butter into the flour until just incorporated if you used small cubes of butter, or simply toss to distribute grated butter throughout the mixture—in either case, you are ready when the mixture is crumbly with butter pieces around the size of peas.
•Make a well in the mixture using your fork and pour the heavy cream mixture into the center of the well. Use the fork to gather wet and dry together and gently stir (it’s better to use a fork here than your hands since your hands will heat up the ingredients more quickly). When the mixture is about halfway together, add the blueberries and continue gently mixing just until a loose dough forms. There will still be small pieces of butter you can see -- it should not be smooth like cookie dough. You may also have some flour and powdery shards/crumbs at the bottom of the bowl which you will incorporate in the next step.
•Remove the dough to a floured surface, gently gather and press together a couple of times to make sure all the flour bits are incorporated. I like to lift layers on top of the forming block of dough to try to create additional flaky layers. Once most of the flour is fully incorporated, pat into an 8-inch square or circle and cug into 8 equal squares or wedges. Place each onto the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. Placing your baking sheet into the refrigerator chills the baking sheet so that when it hits the hot oven it helps the scones to rise even more and also creates that beautiful golden brown, slightly crisp bottom.
•When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator, brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream and place in the oven (you can also sprinkle turbinado sugar on top here if desired).
•Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and puffed. Allow to cool to room temperature before glazing. As you saw in the video, I found the glaze to be a deliciously over the top addition, but if you feel like skipping, the scones are perfection on their own bursting with berries and just a hint of orange blossom – or spread with a little softened butter!
For the Glaze:
•In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, orange blossom water, and butter. The consistency should nicely fall off a spoon when lifted and somewhat hold its shape when drizzled into the bowl. Drizzle over the scones using a spoon and allow to set for 5 minutes or so.