Scones are my most favorite thing to bake. They are my go-to when company drops by unexpected, or when I need something a bit special for a leisurely weekend morning. I learned how to make scones with Ina Garten’s recipe; it’s a delicious version that has served me well. But over the years I’ve been slowly tweaking the recipe, and finally landed on this cross-version between Ms. Garten’s and one from Cooks Illustrated. It has grated butter and several turns, which distributes the fruit evenly, and makes the scone perfectly flaky. It makes for a little extra work and mess, but I never regret it.
Strawberry Cream Scones
adapted from Ina Garten and Cooks Illustrated
I’ve been making scones the same way for years – an adaption of Ina Garten’s Strawberry Scones from her first cookbook. However, I recently made Cooks Illustrated’s blueberry scones and loved their technique of grating the butter and folding the dough over to create layers. I decided to try it out with my scone recipe, and, it was so good! And, I’ll never go back! So here’s my version of things. You can watch this video if you need help shaping the scones (the recipe will be different, but the technique the same).
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup sour cream + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup strawberries
heavy cream for brushing
1-2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling
Position a rack in the center of the oven and the preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, vanilla, and eggs. Grate the frozen butter on the large holes of a box cutter and add it to the flour mixture. Toss with your fingers until the butter is evenly coated. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, and dust the top of the dough with flour. Knead the dough 6 to 8 times, until it resembles a ragged ball (add more flour if it is sticking too much).
Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Fold the dough in thirds (a business letter fold). Lift the short ends of the dough and fold into thirds again, making a 4 inch square. Transfer dough to a baking sheet or plate dusted with flour, and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Bring the chilled dough back to your floured surface, and roll into a 12 inch square again. Sprinkle the strawberries over the dough, then press them down gently into the dough. Using a bench scraper, loosen the dough from the surface, and roll it into a cylinder (roll it like a jelly-roll log to help incorporate the berries). Roll the cylinder so it is seam side down, and then press into a 12 by 4 inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles. Transfer the triangles to the baking sheet.
Brush the tops with a little heavy cream and sprinkle them generously with sugar. Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.