For the scones:
- 2 3/4 cups (360g) pastry or all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Large pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (or 1/2 teaspoon lime or lemon zest if you want a sharper flavor)
- 6 oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, very cold
- 1 1/2 cups (about 8 oz) fresh strawberries, diced
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, very cold
- Extra sugar, for sprinkling
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 3-4 medium strawberries
- Preheat oven to 400ºF /200ºC.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease the bottom.
- Food processor: place flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and orange zest in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Scatter the cubes of frozen butter on top, and process on low until the mixture is grainy and the butter the size of peas. Don't overprocess.
- By hand: add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and combine them well with a spoon or rubber spatula.
- Scatter the butter pieces on top and integrate by hand or with a pastry cutter or pastry blender. The pieces of butter should be the size of peas and beans. It will be irregular. Then follow the recipe below.
- For both methods: transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the strawberries and mix lightly with a spoon or rubber spatula.
- Drizzle the buttermilk and vanilla over the flour mixture.
- Mix with a spatula or fork until it barely comes together, but don't mix too much or the scones will be tough and flat.
- On a lightly floured surface, transfer the mixture, and pat it together, folding it unto itself a few times (I use a dough scraper or dough cutter to help me fold the dough onto itself), until you have a circle of dough that holds together. It will still be shaggy in places. Don't be tempted to overwork it as you would a pie crust. I don't use a rolling pin, but if you want to roll it very lightly, you don't want to press it down, simply pat it so it holds together.
- Make a circle with the dough, about 2 inches high.
- Cut it in half, and then cut each half into 4 triangles. You should have 8 pieces or triangles.
- At this point, they can be frozen, well covered, for up to a month, and baked directly from the freezer. They might take a few more minutes.
- Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle the tops with additional sugar.
- Bake for 15 minutes, turn down the oven temperature to 350°F/180°C, and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until golden, dry, and quite firm. If you need to check, with the tip of a fork lift the top of a scone and see if the inside is dry. Depending on the size and height, the bake time might vary, so start checking at the 30-minute mark.
- I recommend eating them within a few hours of being baked.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for a day, maybe two, but the texture is much better the day they're baked.
For the glaze:
- Hull and cut the strawberries in half.
- Process them with the orange juice. I use the immersion blender with the small chopper attachment.
- Add half to the powdered sugar in a small bowl and mix to combine. Keep adding strawberry puree until it's thick but pourable.
- Alternatively, simply use orange juice, cream, or milk. The glaze will be white, not pink.
- Drizzle on the cold scones and let dry before serving.
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- Baking time: consider that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Very cold ingredients: I’m not kidding when I say very cold butter. Don’t take the cream half an hour before you start mixing the scones or have them at room temperature. Butter, cream, and milk belong in the fridge until you need to scatter and pour them. I pop the butter (already cut into small pieces) and wet ingredients in the freezer for five minutes while I measure the dry ingredients. That way they're as cold as they can be without being frozen.
- Don't overwork the dough: It should come together but still have floury patches. You don’t need to work it until it’s smooth, like a pie dough for instance. It is an uneven dough, with dry spots, and that’s good for tenderness later.
- A rather high oven: they need that extra heat (and baking powder) at the beginning to rise however they can despite all that butter and cream. And, if you forget to turn the oven on before you start mixing, please don’t leave the baking sheet with the cut scones waiting on the counter until the oven is preheated to the right temperature. Put them in the fridge or freezer for the ten or fifteen minutes it takes for the oven to reach its temperature.
- Different sizes: for a brunch table, tea time, or that type of gathering, you might want to make smaller scones, and round ones at that (check out the parmesan chive scones as a guide to the shape) as they are usually easier to handle and bake more evenly. Use a round cookie cutter.
- Freezing scones: scones can be frozen raw, already formed. Make a big batch, cut them, put them on trays and freeze them. Once frozen, put them in a plastic bag or container so the tray doesn’t occupy freezer space. Bake them directly from the freezer in a hot oven.
- Homemade buttermilk: add a tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of regular milk. Stir it and let stand a few minutes. It will curdle a bit, and you're set to go. Make sure you keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
- Dough scraper: I love this kitchen tool for bread and scones. My favorites are all found online on Amazon: the Napro Stainless Steel Scraper, the AmazonBasic Stainless Scraper, and the Ateco Scraper if you want plastic and curved edges.
- Flavorings: I love this recipe as it is, but you can use lime or lemon zest instead of orange for a sharper flavor. And you may like to also add a small amount of ground cinnamon or cardamom for a warmer touch.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Scones & Biscuits
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: 1/12
- Calories: 248
- Sugar: 8.2 g
- Sodium: 132 mg
- Fat: 12.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 31.3 g
- Fiber: 1.3 g
- Protein: 3.6 g
- Cholesterol: 31.6 mg
Keywords: strawberry scones