for whatever reason, scones have never been something i've been that into making. maybe they just don't seem all that exciting?
but, as any baker knows, a scone is really just a dressed-up biscuit. it might contain fruits or nuts, like these, or be brushed with a sweet glaze, or even studded with something rich and desserty, like chocolate chips. but the batter is still basically a biscuit batter, and every southern girl (or girl with a southern stomach, like myself), loves a good biscuit. so, as finicky and difficult as i've heard scones can be, i thought it finally time to try my hand at them.
for the roasted rhubarb:
1 cup fresh rhubarb, diced small (about 1/4-inch pieces)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
for the scones:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup almond flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour, optional (if you don't have whole-wheat, just use another ½ cup regular all-purpose flour)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (after mixing together the above ingredients, work the sugar in with your fingers to keep it from clumping)
6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg
⅓ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1¼ teaspoons extract)
4 tablespoons water
1 additional egg, beaten for egg wash
coarse sugar (like turbinado), for sprinkling
and the not-so-shocking takeaway? even though i've heard it's really difficult to get the texture just right, these scones came out really tender, fluffy, and totally lovely with almost no effort. i think they key with these, really, is just not doing all that much to them.
you can use a cookie scoop to just drop the batter onto your prepared baking sheets—as with any drop biscuit, you'll get some very distinctive-looking blobs, but even if the shapes aren't uniform, they'll still taste amazing and you'll save yourself the mess that goes along with trying to shape this super sticky dough. If you do want to shape your scones into more traditional triangles, just make sure to coat your work surface and your hands with lots and lots of flour first, or you really will end up with a big mess. If you're going this route, i'd recommend working with only half the dough at a time, shaping half into a disc on your floured work surface, and cutting into 6 wedges, then repeating that process with the second of the dough. (this recipe makes about 12 scones.)
how to do it:
- preheat the oven to 450°f. in a small bowl, toss together all the ingredients for the roasted rhubarb, making sure the rhubarb is evenly coated with the other ingredients. spread out onto a small baking sheet and roast for about 12 minutes, until the sugar has caramelized the rhubarb is soft. set aside to cool.
- in a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar, breaking up the brown sugar with your fingers to make sure it's evenly worked into the other dry ingredients.
- using your fingers (my preferred method), a fork, or a pastry blending tool, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients, just as you would for a pie crust. once the butter is evenly worked into the dry ingredients, blend in the egg, sour cream, granulated sugar, vanilla bean paste, and water with a fork. fold the wet and dry ingredients together as gently as possible so that you don't overwork the dough (that could make it tough, and nobody wants a tough scone).
- mix until just incorporated, then cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- prepare a baking sheet by laying down a sheet of parchment or a silicone baking mat to prevent sticking. turn the oven temperature down to 375°f. after the dough has chilled, either scoop out biscuits or form into triangles (as described above).
- brush scones with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. bake scones 13-15 minutes, or until just lightly golden brown on the bottom. let cool 5 minutes on the pan before serving or moving to a rack or kitchen towel to cool completely.