These scones and I… we’ve had several go-rounds. These are an example of my stamina and perseverance. Or, maybe they are more an example of my hard-headed stubborn streak, that inner being that wouldn’t let me sleep until I got them just right, because surely nothing is more important than the world having another scones recipe, right? Yes, I’m being facetious. Sometimes this is not one of my more endearing personality traits. But, here’s the story of these scones.
First off, I saw a recipe in an older edition of Food & Wine magazine for Strawberry Scones with an Almond Glaze. I set about making them, and quickly realized they were more like drop biscuits than scones. I found it peculiar that they didn’t just call them Strawberry Almond Drop Biscuits, but I like drop biscuits so we’ll go with it. Then I burned most of them. The three or four that I didn’t burn turned out delicious, but again, tasted like drop biscuits, not scones. And I had wanted scones, preferably non-burned scones.
So I figured I could turn them into real scones. I searched and searched online but couldn’t really find a definitive scones ratio. I found lots of biscuits ratios, but no scones. So I took some notes from recipes I ran across and pieced together my own. Time to give it a test run. When they came out of the oven, I quickly realized I hadn’t put enough baking powder in the dough. They were very flat and way too dense. The flavor was great, but they definitely weren’t there yet. They didn’t taste bad, they just didn’t taste like scones. Matt took the leftovers to work to set out in their break room, but not without me yelling after him, “Don’t tell your coworkers they’re scones! Call them strawberry almond pastries!”
So now we come to the third try. I increased the baking powder amount. But, I got so busy taking pictures that the butter got too warm and I forgot to knead the dough. So the texture was much improved thanks to the added baking powder, but it was still too cakey and dense.
Enter the fourth try. Fortunately for me, Matt, and those of you still reading this, there is no fifth try, because one is not needed. I finally got it right. I didn’t forget a step or an ingredient. I didn’t burn them. The butter stayed adequately chilled. And the flavor is still terrific. So go and make these very quickly before strawberry season ends. They are a lovely summer treat that I hope you’ll enjoy.
2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tbs Baking powder
½ tsp salt
6 tbs diced chilled butter
½ cup plus 2 tbs buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tbs buttermilk
½ tsp almond extract
¼ cup very thinly sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture. The butter should be the size of small peas and the mixture should resemble coarse wet sand.
Now add the 1/2 cup plus 2 tbs buttermilk, the beaten egg, plus the strawberries and combine gently with a spatula. It will be sticky but it should come together.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Flour your hands and a rolling pin as well. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 seconds, then roll it out to a circle about 1 inch in thickness. Flour your knife, then cut 8 equal triangles, like you’re cutting a pie.
Carefully transfer the triangles to the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar, then the remaining buttermilk and almond extract. Whisk until very smooth.
Remove the scones from the oven when they are done baking. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 F. Spread the almonds out on a pie plate. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Drizzle the glaze atop the scones, then sprinkle with the almonds. If desired, press them slightly so they adhere to the glaze. Serve immediately.