Betsy's Scones

Active time: 15 minutes • Total time: 40 minutes

Posted on Nov 24, 2015 by Jack McCann
Tags: eggs breakfast recipes dessert

On select weekends, I might be guilty of whining until Betsy makes me scones. There is no way to be certain, but this ritual might* be rather successful in creating some truly culinary goodness that happens to go great with espresso on a rare lazy Saturday morning. Making sure the butter is cold, good quality and having a pastry knife is really, really helpful to get the texture just right. Sometimes it doesn’t quite turn out how Betsy wants it to, and I think she has to make another batch with the left over cream on Sunday to prove a point!


  • 250g (~2 c.) flour – (a scale is much easier and more accurate for baking)
  • 70g (1/3 c.) sugar
  • 15g (1 T) baking powder
  • 3g (1/2 t) salt
  • 3/4 c. dried cherries, coarsely chopped or whole dried blueberries or chocolate chips (Jack = chocolate, Betsy = fruit)
  • 85g (6 T) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 185 g (3/4 c.) heavy cream
  • 10 g (2 t.) vanilla extract (or 1-2 t. almond extract is good with the cherries)
  • 2 large TC Farm egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten for glazing
  • 2 t. sugar (or slivered almonds if using almond extract) -- get the granular ‘raw’ sugar for the sugar topping!

Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment or silplat. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cherries (or substitute), tossing until evenly distributed and coated with flour. Cut in the butter with a pastry knife or two table knives until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of peas, this is intended to coat much of the flour with the butter to protect it from the liquids. It should have a course texture and almost, resemble corn meal when you are done.

In a small bowl, stir the cream, vanilla, and egg yolks just to blend. Add this all at once to the flour mixture. Gently stir with a fork or a spatula to begin combining and then use your hands to gently knead the mixture together until all the dry ingredients are absorbed into the dough and it can be gathered into a moist, shaggy ball. Don’t over knead: this dough is sticky but benefits from minimal handling... the more rough the dough is handled the more the gluten will unwind and make a tougher scone and it will taste terrible like the big brand coffee shop scones you’ve tried! This is also the reason for protecting the flour with butter. Set the rough ball in the center of the prepared baking sheet and pat it gently into a round about 1 inch thick and 7 inches in diameter. Don’t be tempted to make the round any flatter.

With a sharp knife or pastry scraper, cut the round into eight wedges; separate the wedges. Brush the scones with the egg- mild glaze (you won’t need to use all of it) and sprinkle liberally with the raw sugar, the scones will rise substantially and the sugar will spread out as a result. Bake until the scones are deep golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a wedge comes out clean, 18 – 22 minutes. Slide the parchment onto a rack and let the scones cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

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