Liz Sun and Emily Venezky have brought their baking skills home for this outbreak…
BY // EMILY VENEZKY
The first time I tasted a truly spectacular scone was at high tea at the Getty Villa. Everything at this tea was absolutely perfect, the beginning pastries were flaky, the sandwiches were super imaginative, they gave you a limitless selection of tea, and at the end they gave us the recipe for the Getty carrot cake, the original caretaker’s wife’s cake (which of course is delicious). As a high tea fanatic, I’d say it’s the best deal for a huge amount of delicious food and literal bottomless tea. Even though both the Getty Villa and Getty Center are closed, for the time being, I highly recommend getting a reservation for their high tea as soon as you can plan your life three months in advance again.
My first thought after I gobbled my scone was, “oh, I bet I could make this.” I knew I wanted that same buttery inside with the crisp exterior. So I started looking into cream scone recipes that I could add frozen fruit to because we happened to have a lot of frozen blueberries in the freezer at that moment. I combined a few aspects of recipes that had great reviews, mostly drawing from Bon Appetit’s cream scone recipe.
The first time I made them was on Christmas morning for my family and since then I’ve learned that if I ever let someone try these scones, they become a scone-loving zombie. That sounds like an exaggeration, but my boyfriend once tried to break into my dorm room when he knew I had extra scones and at one point my family was requesting them twice a week. I’ve refined this recipe after making it at least a dozen times and I’m excited to share all my tips and tricks for making scones with you.
These have been a real comfort to my family during social distancing. On our worst long days of feeling cooped up inside, we will sit out in the warm Los Angeles afternoon and have a scrumptious tea with these fresh scones.
I hope this brings some comfort to your home right now, at least until we drop another recipe next Tuesday!
Blueberry Cream Scones
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1¼ cups half and half, plus more for brushing
Raw sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Whisk granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 cups of flour in a large bowl to combine.
3. Break up the pieces of butter and combine them in with a pastry cutter. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, get your hands in there and break up the pieces of butter, letting the little pieces get covered in the dry mixture until there are pea-sized pieces of butter throughout.
4. Add in the frozen blueberries and mix them in with your hands.
5. Make a well in the center and drop in the egg and half and half. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients with a fork until a shaggy dough begins to form. Lightly knead the dough with your hands till it comes together, don’t overwork it!
6. Split the dough in half, turning out half the dough on a lightly floured surface.
7. Pat into a 1″-thick round and cut into 8 wedges (like a pizza). Transfer the 8 wedges to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Do the same for the other half. You’ll probably need two baking sheets for all of them.
8. Paint all the wedges with half and half (I use a clean paintbrush) and sprinkle some raw sugar on top.
9. Bake scones until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Most recipes call for heavy cream but I found half-and-half makes them lighter while still creamy.
This makes smaller scones, but if you don’t cut the dough in half you can make some very hearty scones too.
If you want to make these ahead of time you can place them on parchment-lined baking sheets and cover them in plastic wrap, just pull them out within two days to put the cream and sugar on them and then bake them.
Serve with extra butter, jam, and English breakfast tea!