Fresh strawberries & cream scones are simple to make and perfect for a spring brunch! (Jump to Recipe)
Mother’s Day is (somehow) nearly upon us, so naturally I had to create a recipe for us to have at brunch.
Because, as much as moms do love flowers and gift certificates for pedicures and other typical Mother’s Day gifts, I am of the opinion that there is nothing better than a handmade baked good to show someone how much you care.
I know if I were going to be with my mom this Mother’s Day, I’d make these for her. Sadly, she lives in Philadelphia, so I can’t make it out there every year. Mom – consider this your virtual Mother’s Day scone. Don’t worry, I got you a non-virtual present too.
Life has been pretty busy lately. I’ve been working quite a bit, but also living life outside my computer quite a bit – like going on brewery tours, running by the lake, and brunching with Brian – so I can’t complain about that. Sometimes, that’s the season that we go through, and I’m working on being gentle with myself for a change. We’re all so hard on ourselves all the time, aren’t we? We’re never enough. We could always be working out more, or journaling 10 minutes a day, or drinking lemon water in the mornings, or paying that bill earlier than the last second before it’s due, or calling our moms more often, or getting to work earlier in the mornings, or reading more books, or watching less TV. We’re always berating ourselves.
Well, we should call our moms more, Mother’s Day or no.
But what if, instead of always berating and browbeating ourselves for not being enough, we loved ourselves the way our moms do? What if we had infinite patience and forgiveness and empathy for ourselves, the way our moms do? What if we could let go of the constant guilt and hand-wringing and overwhelm, and tell ourselves that we’re doing the best we can and everything is going to turn out just fine, the way our moms do?
I think the world would be a happier place if we all just admitted that everyone, including ourselves, is just doing the best that they can. No one has life figured out, no matter how put together they may appear. I’m trying to remember that as I navigate this whole lawyering full-time/creating recipes/blogging/being a social person/exercise?/keeping up with ever-crazier news cycles/wanting to sleep forever thing. Just have courage, and be kind.
And if things ever feel really out of control, I suggest having a glass of wine and making some scones. It’s quite therapeutic.
You can see my process above. These strawberries and cream scones are made with very few ingredients, which really makes the strawberries shine. The flavor combination is an ode to the classic British way of pairing scones with strawberries and clotted cream. If you’ve never had clotted cream, my god, stop right now and go have some. You’ll never be the same.
The most important thing when it comes to scones is COLD butter. Super cold. Like put it in the freezer for 10 minutes before you use it cold. Then work it into the flour mixture as quickly as you possibly can. Some people use forks, some people use pastry cutters, I use my fingers (see above). You just rub the butter into the flour over and over again until it’s like coarse, wet sand – with a few butter chunks. It should only take a couple minutes if you’re working quickly.
Then all you have to do is mix in your heavy cream until you have a crumbly, shaggy dough. Dump it out on some parchment paper and knead it together with your hands. This is why I like making scones – it’s very hands on. You can feel when the dough is ready. You don’t want to work it too much – just enough that it becomes smooth and you can shape it into an inch-think disc, as above. Then cut it into eighths. I used a bench scraper and it worked beautifully.
After a short time in the oven, these beauties are delicate, flaky, tender, and ready to be glazed and devoured.
The glaze is a simple matter of powdered sugar, lemon juice, and a little more cream. The lemon juice doesn’t make it too lemony – it brings out the naturally sweet-tart flavor of the strawberries. And strawberries are about to be SO good.
I’ll let you in on something: I barely had 5 minutes to take these pictures before Brian started devouring these little strawberries and cream scones. Luckily, the light was on my side and these scones were the picture-perfect treats I knew they could be.
These scones are basically the epitome of my philosophy when it comes to great baked goods: they taste amazing, look impressive, but secretly are simple and quick to put together.
Making these for that special mom in your life would be even better than calling her, and I suggest you pair it with a milky coffee and a long morning of quality time. Because really, what more do moms want in this world?
World peace. Probably. These scones, and a little self-kindness, might help. Love to all the moms out there!
Strawberries & Cream Scones
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Zest of one lemon
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed and cold (put in freezer for 10 minutes if it's not super cold)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (should also be cold, straight from the fridge)
- 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (large pieces, don't chop super small)
- 1 tablespoon extra heavy cream + coarse or turbinado sugar , for topping (optional)
For the glaze:
- 3/4 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar
- Juice of half a lemon (about 2 tbsp)
- 1 tablespoons heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest together. Add the cold butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a fork, or your hands. The motion with the fork is like scraping it down into the center of the bowl over and over. With your hands, just rub the butter into the flour over and over again. Stop when the mixture resembles wet sand - there may still be some larger butter pieces the size of peas, and that's just right.
- Add the heavy cream, and stir together until a shaggy dough is formed. If it seems too dry, you can add another tablespoon, but trust, it's supposed to be shaggy and crumbly right now. Gently fold in the strawberries.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. It will be crumbly and shaggy, and that's ok. Knead it a few times with your hands, turning it over on itself until a smoother dough forms. Pat the dough into a 1-inch thick disk. With a bench scraper or a very sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 even wedges. Arrange the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Brush a little heavy cream over the tops of the scones and sprinkle with coarse or turbinado sugar if desired - this part is totally optional, but delicious.
- If you have time, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes or in the fridge for a half hour before baking. It isn't absolutely necessary, but it helps the scones keep their shape and keeps them flaky and tender.
- Bake the scones for 18-20 minutes, until they are just starting to brown.
- While the scones are baking, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice, heavy cream, and salt until a smooth and pourable consistency is reached. If it's not runny enough, you can add another teaspoon of heavy cream. Set aside.
- When scones are done baking, let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Drizzle with the glaze.
- Serve warm with hot coffee or tea!
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