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Weekend Recipe: Blueberry Scones

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Blueberry Scones
Photo courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

This blueberry scone recipe from America's Test Kitchen is a naturally sweetened take on this coffeehouse favorite and produces a buttery, flaky scone bursting with juicy blueberries.

Halving the sugar in a classic recipe and swapping in Sucanat gave the scones a slightly deeper, more rounded flavor. Although tasters were happy with the sweetness level, the reduction in sugar made the scones very dry. The original recipe called for a combination of milk and sour cream, but testing revealed that heavy cream and a bit of extra butter solved the dryness problem without making the scones greasy. For good rise and lightness, we used a generous amount of baking powder and a very hot oven, which encouraged the water in the butter to convert to steam in the scones, fluffing them up nicely. To get the desired flaky layers and to keep the blueberries from turning the scones blue, we rolled out the dough before gently pressing the berries into it. We then rolled the dough like a jelly roll, gently flattened it, and cut out the scones. We reserved some of the cream and egg mixture to brush over the tops of the scones, creating perfect golden-brown exteriors without an extra sprinkling of sugar. Finally, we found it necessary to bake the scones on a double sheet pan to prevent them from overbrowning on the bottom and around the edges as they baked.

Blueberry Scones
Makes 8 scones

You can skip grinding the Sucanat in step 1; however, the scones will have a speckled appearance. Frozen blueberries can be substituted for the fresh blueberries.

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup heavy cream
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
⅓ cup (1¾ ounces) Sucanat
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled 
7½ ounces (1½ cups) blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place in second baking sheet. Whisk heavy cream, egg, and yolk together in small bowl. Measure out 1 tablespoon cream mixture and set aside. Grind Sucanat in spice grinder until fine and powdery, about 1 minute.

2. In food processor, pulse ground Sucanat, flour, baking powder, and salt to combine, about 10 pulses. Scatter chilled butter evenly over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 12 to 14 pulses. Transfer mixture to large bowl.

3. Fold cream mixture into flour mixture with rubber spatula until just combined. Transfer dough to well-floured counter. Dust dough with flour, and using floured hands, knead dough 2 to 3 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

4. Roll dough into rough 12-inch square, sprinkle blueberries over top, and press them lightly into dough. Using bench scraper, loosen dough from counter and roll into tight log. With dough seam side down, gently press into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using floured bench scraper or chef’s knife, cut dough crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally into 2 triangles.

5. Lay scones on prepared baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart, and brush with reserved cream mixture. Bake scones until dark golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let scones cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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