Recipe: Lemon Scones

Each season has it's own particular flavors that are associated with it for me. Fall is obviously pumpkin. Summer is mint and watermelon, and ice cream (Can I call ice cream a flavor?). Winter is gingerbread and I guess peppermint (which I don't like). And Spring? Spring is lemon because it's zesty and fresh. And lemon anything is better than plain ol' vanilla. At least, in my opinion.

I feel like I need to tell you that I am by no means a scone expert. I love scones, especially eating them, but this is my first time baking them at home. The ingredients are familiar: butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and soda, eggs, buttermilk. And the method doesn't seem too hard: mix everything together, cut in butter, form scones, and bake. But somehow it still seemed foreign to me. After a couple attempts, I nailed down something that was pretty tasty. Here's the end result:

Lemon Scones

Makes 12 scones

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 stick cold butter (I used salted because that's what I had), cut into chunks
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons additional buttermilk and coarse/decorating sugar for toppping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar with a wooden spoon. Add butter chunks and cut in with your hands or a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse/sandlike and butter pieces are the size of peas. In a mixing cup, lightly beat buttermilk and egg to combine. Add to flour mixture all at once, stirring with wooden spoon just enough to soften the dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead about 7-10 times. Roll/pat into a 1-inch thickness. Using a pairing or steak knife, I cut off the rounded edges created a large square, then cut nine 2x2 inch squares out of it. Reshape the scraps and create three more scones. Place scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush lightly with buttermilk and generously sprinkle with coarse or clear decorating sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown in the upper third of your oven. Serve warm and top with butter, lemon curd, or jam.

Scones don't last too long, so eat the same day or store in an airtight container for an additional day. 

These would perfectly accompany any weekend brunch. Who needs toast when you've got these babies.