I locked myself out of my apartment for the first time in my adult life last week. Not coincidentally, I also successfully completed my first adult break-in. Things only went downhill from there.
After the breaking and entering, I nearly set my place ablaze. And yes, I freely confess that it would have been nice to have someone gently suggest that baking off a scone at midnight—after being out at bar—was not going to win me any Mensa awards: perhaps just a visit from the fellas down at Ladder 24.
I awoke six hours later with a charcoal scone souvenir and a renewed appreciation for life. Later that day, it rained in my apartment. And then later still, my key broke clean off in my entrance lock.
So why mention all this? Well, it got me thinking that the joys of living alone run parallel to the annoyances. Having carte blanche on the dinner menu is great. I can eat a version of this corn soup for three days if I feel like it. (Though this is a moot point if you can’t get into your apartment.) And while a three night dinner trilogy of corn is fine by me, making something more communal, like a cherry pie, is out of the question. I can’t leave whole pies lying around.
These scones, on the other hand, work well as a dessert to be baked especially for one. And rest assured, this recipe falls wholeheartedly into the dessert category. It is not to be shuffled into the company of the dry breakfast scone. If fact, it’s really more of a buttery biscuit studded with blueberries. Which means you can still feel good about eating it for breakfast. And since I love lavender paired with lemon in the summertime, they find themselves partnering up with the berries.
So this is the perfect let-me-squeeze-out-the-very-last-bits-of summer recipe. And if you freeze some, you’ll be very happy come the first chilly fall morning when you pop one of these in the oven.
Though, I should clarify. While this scone does a lot of things, it won’t help you break into a locked apartment, nor will it fix roofs or know how to work a fire extinguisher. But if you are in need of a little calming from the evil forces that be, it does make for a pretty good roommate.
Blueberry Lemon Lavender Scones
Adapted from Joanne Chang's Lemon-Ginger Scone recipe from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe
FOR THE SCONES
2 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 10 pieces
1 cup buttermilk, cold
1 egg, cold
1 tbsp dried lavender buds
3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
FOR THE GLAZE
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2-3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp orange blossom water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for 10-15 seconds on low speed with the paddle attachment. Then slowly mix in the chunks of butter on low speed. This should take about 30 seconds; you want the butter to still be visible, in about grape-sized chunks.
In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, egg and lavender and then pour it into flour mixture and beat for 20-30 seconds more or until the dough just comes together. (Be careful not to over mix.) Gently fold in the blueberries until just incorporated.
Dump the dough onto lightly floured surface and roll it out until it is 1-inch thick. Using a ~3-inch cookie cutter cut out the scones. (I couldn't find my lone cookie cutter, so I used the top of a cocktail shaker and it worked just fine.) Reroll the dough scraps and continue to cut out your scones until you've used all the dough. (You should have about 10 circles in total.)
Place them on a cookie sheet (I slightly greased mine just to be on the safe side) and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until they are a light golden color. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
While the scones are cooling, in a small bowl whisk together confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and orange blossom water to make a smooth, thick glaze that is still pourable. When the scones have cooled, brush the tops with the lemon glaze.
Makes 10 scones
-You'll notice these scones are not glazed. The scones taste best the day they are made, but can be brought back to life by popping them in a 300 oven for a few minutes. These scones were not intended to be eaten the day they were made, but they were still worthy of a photo: hence the picture sans glaze. Don't neglect the glaze before you eat them: it brightens them up in a way words can't really describe.
-Prior to baking the scones, you can also wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the freezer, to be baked off at a later date. They'll go directly from the freezer to the oven and the baking time will increase a good 5-10 minutes or so.
-The glaze can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temp for up to a week.
-Warning: don't forget about these scones and let them bake in your oven overnight. (Please refer to above.) Though, kudos to the scones and to the cleanliness of my oven: we did not have any kitchen fires that evening.