by Jennifer A. Wickes
When I was pregnant with my second son, my husband, son and I went on a long
weekend to visit my mother-in-law. My husband's grandmother was visiting for her
80th birthday, so we felt it was a perfect time to make the trip.
It was early June, and we decided to head over to this outdoor place that sells
handcrafted items for your home and food. While there, we tasted the most
scrumptious strawberry scones! They were sweet and creamy! Usually, scones tend
to be dry and need a lot of butter or cream to be spread over them, so you can
swallow them. But not these! My husband, who is not fond of anything sweet, even
When we came home, while the taste was still fresh in my head, I decided to
attempt to duplicate this recipe!
I found some strawberry scone recipes on the Internet. I looked at the
ingredients to get an idea of the ratio of flour to butter to milk. Once I had
noticed a basic pattern involved, I decided to research the purpose of each
When baking, fat adds moisture and flavor. Being these scones were extremely
moist and flavorful, I figured using heavy cream in lieu of milk would be wise.
I also learned that there is a chemical component in red berries that turn blue
when heated. The only way to avoid this is to create an acidic environment. With
this information, I decided that using buttermilk or yogurt in the recipe would
help the strawberries look bright red.
Using unsalted butter in baking is best. Why? Well, salt is used as a
preservative, and you may have heard that the fresher the ingredients, the
better the end result. Also, too much salt added in baking only toughens the
flour. I wanted a moist scone, not a tough one, so unsalted butter was my
The flour used in scones is typically all-purpose or plain flour. Cake flour is
too light and cannot handle being processed like a scone. Bread flour has too
With this information, I felt ready to tackle my new goal, strawberry scones!
As luck would have it, with all of my research, my recipe was a success the
first time! My whole family loved them! I even entered them in a competition
through Cook's Illustrated. My recipe won the Grand Prize and was featured in
their sister publication, Cook's Country (June/July 2005). What surprised me
most was that there was a cameo of me on the front cover, and my recipe was an
entire page spread with a color photo of my scones!
I was very proud of my creation and hope you are too!
Serve with a dollop of clotted cream (and a cup of tea, of course) for an
elegant afternoon snack. For tender scones, avoid overhandling the dough.
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking
sheet with parchment paper. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon cream in small bowl.
Set aside. Whisk remaining egg, remaining 1/4 cup cream, buttermilk, and vanilla
together in medium bowl.
2. Pulse flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor until
blended. Add butter and pulse into flour until mixture resembles coarse
cornmeal, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer mixture to large bowl and make
well in center. Add buttermilk mixture and stir until batter forms moist clumps.
Carefully stir in strawberries.
3. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead gently until dough
comes together and is smooth, about 10 seconds. Pat dough into 7-inch circle
about 1 inch thick. Using sharp knife, cut circle into 8 wedges. With pastry
brush, remove excess flour from wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking
sheet, brush tops with egg and cream glaze, and sprinkle with remaining 1
4. Bake until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center of scones comes
out with a few crumbs attached, about 15 minutes. Transfer scones to wire rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cooled scones can be stored in airtight
container for up to 2 days.)
Yields: 8 servings