Some co-workers are visiting this week from an office branch in Ireland. For one of their first nights here, they were invited to a dinner a local Mexican restaurant. Someone told them it was “authentic”, which made some of us from the area laugh. We explained that in America, Mexican restaurants almost always actually serve Tex-Mex food. We all agreed that if a place is described as “authentic”, that’s generally a sign it won’t be very authentic at all.
When I decided to make scones for a family brunch, I first thought I wanted to make authentic scones. But then I realized I probably have never had a properly authentic scone. Scones originated in the UK and I believe the ones made there are distinct from most scones found in the US.
But I do know that the scones found in most bakeries here did not measure up for me. I do not believe a scone should not be covered in icing! I think in America, we tend to make too many bakery items super sweet. (See also: muffins, which should not just be cupcakes without icing).
I was looking for scones that are only lightly sweet, with a tender, moist, and slightly crumbly interior. These scones totally fit the bill, plus are filled with plenty of berries, without getting soggy. I decided to add rose water to complement the raspberries and it was a perfect match!
I’ve never used rose water before, and I was very curious about it. It adds a floral note to baked goods, similar to the way lavender does. A little goes a long way; too much could make your food taste like soap! I found 3/4 teaspoon was exactly the right amount to taste the rose flavor without overpowering the scones.
It’s really important to use exactly 8 oz of frozen berries in this recipe. Even an extra ounce of berries can make the scones too soggy. I was unable to find a bag with the exact amount needed, so I measured it out using a kitchen scale. They are fairly inexpensive and very handy for baking. The remaining berries can always be saved for smoothies or other uses.
This is a very versatile recipe that can be customized in many ways. When I made these, I also made a blueberry lemon version very easily. I simply replaced the raspberries with blueberries and the rose water with lemon extract. I also added some grated lemon zest to the berries.
Raspberry Rose Scones
Adapted from Cook’s Country magazine
Makes 8 scones
- 8 oz frozen raspberries (or blueberries, blackberries, or halved strawberries)
- 3 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
- 3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 7 oz whole milk (3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp)
- 3/4 tsp rose water (or other extract of your choice)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tbsp honey
Adjust the oven rack to the upper middle setting and preheat to 425. Line baking sheets with a nonstick liner (like Silpat) or parchment paper.
Toss frozen berries with confectioner’s sugar in small bowl and return to the freezer until needed. Cut the butter into tablespoons, making two piles of six. Cut each tablespoon into a cube, and return to the fridge until needed.
Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in the food processor and pulse to combine. Add half the butter (6 tablespoons) and process until the butter is fully incorporated, about 10 seconds. Add the remaining butter and pulse until the butter is pea-sized, about 10 pulses. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix in the frozen berries.
Beat the milk, rose water, egg, egg yolk in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture. Gently fold the mixture with a spatula , scraping the edges of the bowl, until a shaggy dough forms. Some of the flour will remain unmixed.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface (I like to place a large nonstick mat on the counter and flour that). Flour your hands and knead 2-3 times, just until the dough comes together. Shape and pat the dough into a 12 by 4 inch rectangle. Using a bench scrapper, cut the dough in half down the middle; then cut each half down the middle, to create 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally into 2 triangles to form 8 scones.
Place the scones on the prepared sheet and bake until lightly golden on top, about 16 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
While the scones are baking, make the glaze. Combine melted butter and honey in a small bowl. Remove the scones from the oven and brush the tops evenly with the glaze. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, until the scones are fully golden brown on top.
Let cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Scones are best eaten the day they are made, but will last well wrapped at room temperature for about 2 days.
The unbaked scones can be easily frozen to make fresh later. After cutting into triangles, simply place on a baking sheet and put into the freezer. Once frozen, wrap with plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 and bake for about 24 minutes. Follow the instructions above for the glaze and remaining baking time.