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Maple, Blueberry & Lemon Scones

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I’m always on the lookout for a good scone. When I say scone, I mean the type of scone you get in Canada – large, triangular, sweet, biscuit-style pastries laden with berries and flavourings, then sprinkled with sugar before baking or a glaze after. The perfect scone is crumbly, sweet (but not too sweet) and stodgy. It goes well with a hot cup of tea and, if un-glazed, sliced in half with a smear of fresh butter.

In Ireland I’ve already gotten into trouble with my food terminology. A biscuit is not a cookie; a scone is not a biscuit. Biscuits, to me, are similar to scones but much less sweet and not as large. A scone may be prepared in a similar way, but it involves an egg (something I’d never put in a biscuit), a bit more sugar and berries or sweet flavourings (cranberry scones with almond are a lovely flavour combination; if you’re ever in Cape Breton you can get them at The Dancing Goat in Margaree).

Biscuits are something we eat with seafood chowder or baked beans back home. Biscuits here, of course, are cookies (but not all cookies – for example, a chocolate chip cookie would not be considered a biscuit here, according to my in-laws).

Can you sense my confusion? Don’t even get me started on poitín and poutine.

Anyway, yesterday I had a craving for a really good scone to have with tea after dinner. I had some blueberries so decided to make lemon-blueberry scones with a maple glaze. I made these scones a bit smaller than I normally would, just for portion control purposes (it’s only me and Patrick eating them – my Mom comes next week so we’ll at least have some help then). This recipe makes a moist, crumbly, sweet scone. You can drizzle them with the glaze or leave it out entirely – they are sweet enough on their own.

This recipe will make 8 large scones or 16 small.

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Maple, Blueberry & Lemon Scones

Ingredients:

2 cups AP Flour

3 Tbsp white sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup cold, cubed butter

Zest of one lemon

1 cup fresh blueberries

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp room temperature butter

1-2 Tbsp milk

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (200 degrees Celsius, no fan). Line a baking tray with parchment.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the cubed, cold butter and rub into the flour mixture until the butter is fully incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add the blueberries and lemon zest to the bowl. Mix briefly to combine. Make a well in the centre of the flour/butter/blueberry mixture.
  • In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk the egg and buttermilk together until combined. Pour into the flour/butter/blueberry mixture and mix with a wooden spoon/spatula until just combined (do not over mix!).
  • Pour contents of the bowl onto a well floured surface and knead a few times (the dough will be sticky so keeping your surface well-floured is essential). Shape the dough into a rectangle, making sure the dough is rolled out to about 1 1/2 inch thickness.
  • With a floured knife, cut the rectangle in half, then cut each piece in half again. Cut the four pieces on the diagonal to create 8 triangular scones. Transfer the scones to the lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until the scones are golden brown (if you’re not using glaze, lightly brush with milk or cream and lightly sprinkle with sugar before baking).
  • Make the glaze: combine the confectioner’s sugar, butter and maple syrup until well mixed. While mixing with a hand blender, slowly drizzle the milk until your desired consistency is reached. When the scones have cooled, drizzle the tops with the maple glaze.

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