This is a great basic scone recipe. Once you’ve made it, try a variation of your own. Add dried fruit such as currants or cherries, or sprinkle in lemon zest and a few blueberries. For a savory take, omit the sugar and add sharp cheddar cheese, ham, chives and black pepper. Make the recipe yours!
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar (omit if making a savory version)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream, half-and-half or whole milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons sanding or Demerara sugar (omit if making a savory version)
- For serving: strawberry jam, whipped cream, butter, lemon curd, honey (optional)
Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with a small amount of vegetable oil.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; stir to combine. Add butter and toss with your hands to coat with flour. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until most of the butter pieces are about the size of peas.
Drizzle in the cream and stir with a fork until the mixture just comes together. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Knead once or twice to form the dough into a cohesive mass and gently press mixture with your fingers into a circle about 1-inch thick.
Using a round cookie cutter no larger than 2 inches, cut out scones and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Gather the leftover scraps, push back together and cut remaining scones.
Make an egg wash by cracking the egg into a small bowl and whisking with 1 teaspoon water until well combined. Brush the scones with egg wash and sprinkle the tops with sanding sugar.
Transfer scones to the preheated oven and bake until they have risen and are golden brown, about 12 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer scones to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature. While scones are best the day they’re made, you can warm leftovers in a microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
Try these additions to the basic recipe. If using, add with the heavy whipping cream.
1/3 cup dried fruit such as currants, raisins, cherries or chopped apricots
Zest of 1 lemon, lime or small orange
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/3 cup diced ham or crumbled cooked bacon
1/3 cup shredded hard cheese such as cheddar, Swiss or Parmesan
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions or chives