Scones are my favourite breakfast-brunch-tea-time treats. A spring morning with a divine scone in hand and some clotted cream or Devonshire cream and jam on the side, and a nice cuppa coffee — that’s my happy place.
When I think of scones, I think of my youth — I think of Ottawa and my university days, and my best friends and the fond memories we shared. And it makes me both happy and sad. Happy, because I smile thinking back on when my friends and I would meet for scones on weekends, or sometimes between lectures, at our favourite local shops, and just chat about nothings and everythings. Those were the promising days of youth and sweet liberties. Equally, I feel just as sad thinking back on those moments because I really miss my youth and my friends from the past.
I may be partial, but now that I live in Montreal — and am a cranky window meerkat as a result — my soul lives in deprivation, because frankly, scones here are meh. “I don’t know what people are raving about,” I tell my husband. “It’s nothing like The Scone Witch in Ottawa.” Yet even if my husband would often reassure me that we’ll be going to Ottawa soon, and that scones are on the next horizon, I give him full reign to give me his quirky eye roll, because I’ve hammered it in way too often, and I’m sure he’s going deaf by the minute.
Nevertheless, I found my interim solace in a neighbourhood cheese shop that also sells pastries and scones. It’s a cute-as-a-button shop and a neighbourhood gem, and their scones tend to sell out fast. But shhh, we shan’t say more of it — we shall keep it secret. Even if their scones are unlike the ones I grew up with in Ottawa, they still fill my heart with joy because they’re quite scrumptious. Moreover, in a quarantine where visiting family and friends is prohibited — when life is depressing and hard enough — there’s something uplifting about the simple act of grabbing a treat at a local shop.
I must admit, what was at first a treat, became a real addiction. There was a time in the past when my husband would walk to the shop to grab us some scones as soon as it opened at 9 AM, or times when we’d pass by and drop in to see if they had any left for the day. Those days were long gone. Now, it’s become religion for us to call ahead of time so that they can put some aside for us. How’s life in quarantine and lockdown, you might ask? Just scones. My body, mind, and soul is one big scone.
Since I started making scones part of my almost-daily sexy breakfast regime, and it was getting increasingly costly to buy them, I decided to try baking them myself. I’d intended to bake them ages ago since I was a little shrimp, yet somehow, the occasion kept escaping me; or, rather, I kept making excuses as to why they’d be complicated, when in reality, they’re ever so simple to bake. Now that I finally baked them, I can proudly say that I’ve had my closure in life.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup frozen blueberries, plus some!
Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Put flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl and whisk. Grate the cold butter and put it in the flour mixture, and mix with your fingers until the mixture becomes a bread crumb texture. Put it in the fridge while you prepare the wet mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, and vanilla extract. Pour the mix into the dry mix. Add the blueberries. Knead the dough into a ball and then spread it over the counter into a flat circle. Cut into 8 pieces. Place them on a lined baking sheet and in the fridge for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, put the scones in the oven for about 22-25 minutes, until the edges are a golden brown.
This was the recipe I used: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/glazed-lemon-blueberry-scones/
I’m so happy I finally baked scones after all the years I intended to try baking them myself. It’s even more of a success story since aesthetically they turned out pretty cute, especially for a first-timer. The texture was also agreeable, like the ones we’d buy in store. Yet while my husband thought they tasted fine — the lemon zest giving them some sass — for me there was a slight floral note that I wasn’t a big fan of. From the frozen blueberries? The lemon zest itself? Or the intermingling of the baking powder? It was all unclear to me.
Nevertheless, I was quite fond of the colour — the soft rippling hues of blue coming from the blueberries. I actually learned after the fact that I could’ve coated the frozen blueberries with some flour, to lessen the bleeding. While it was neat to learn, I found them pleasing just as they were. As for the shapes, I promise, it’s not what it seems: I’m not that clumsy at cutting equal pieces. I swear, I was just in a rush between baking the scones, cooking salmon for my family, and vacuuming the sofa — all in one shot!
There’s much for me to learn and practice when it comes to baking scones. They might look and be simple to bake, but there’s much precision and passion involved in birthing their very essence. This is only the beginning, and I’m already excited to learn the map to their soul. There’s something satisfying about being your own boss baker, and baking scones at your heart’s whims rather than buying them in store. It’s quite romantic. I look forward to baking more, and to trying different flavours and combinations. My husband and I’m sure my 1-year-old son, will be some happy taste-testers.