Two versions of our Saturday morning scones.
The one on the right is an old recipe. It was good,
but it was more floury and not as delicious as the newer one.
The scones on the left were proof that the recipe is fail-proof.
I left out some flour, and they flatted considerably, but taste didn't suffer!
As requested by Judi and Rebecca, the recipe for our family’s Saturday morning chocolate chip lemon scones. For many years, I baked scones on Saturday mornings and served them with coffee. It’s such a tradition that we all want to have them if we are together on a Saturday morning. These are all-out white flour, high-fat scones, and they are eaten with not a whit of guilt. I’ve made healthy versions of our Saturday scones, and they are good, but these are better.
I tried many recipes over the years and have enjoyed them all, but this is the final grand champion—the one that will remain our Saturday morning scone from here to the end of our days. It is a recipe I adapted from one of Martha’s currant scones recipes. It seems fail-proof. Too much flour? Not a problem. Too little flour? Not a problem, either. I even way overcooked them once. Not a problem there, either. They were still moist and buttery and flaky and delicious inside (and the outside was not charred—just overdone—so there was not an off-putting burned flavor).
This is a mess of a recipe journal. This is where I write down
recipes I made up or adapted. It's where I put recipes I use so often
that it's handier to have in this journal than to continually go looking for
the book that contains the recipe. The scone recipe is in here, and it might
be the dirtiest page in the whole book!
SATURDAY MORNING CHOCOLATE CHIP LEMON SCONES
(I usually cut the following recipe in half if there will only be a small crowd. I make 8 scones with half a recipe, and guess who will eat the leftovers?! Me. Hence, the half-batch.)
4 ½ c. unbleached flour
2 T. sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 sticks butter (very cold—leave in fridge til just ready to cut it in)
1 c. + chocolate chips
Zest of half a lemon (for dough)
2 c. heavy cream (more if needed, plus more for top of scones)
Zest of 1 lemon, mixed with 2-3 T. sugar (for top of scones)
Preheat oven to 375. Ideally there is a baking stone in your oven. Otherwise, bake on parchment paper on a heavy sheet. Gather and measure all ingredients before starting (to keep the dough cold and the butter from softening).
Mix dry ingredients together. Cut cold butter into this by hand (pastry blender, fingers) or with a food processor (don’t over-cut—you want it sandy with tiny chunks of butter left intact). Add zest and chocolate chips. Stir in cream until just blended. Knead a few times to pull dough together, but do not overwork. If dough is too dry, add cream, 1 T. at a time.
Divide dough in half and pat into two circles about an 1” (or so) thick. Cut into wedges. Brush cream over top of each scone and then sprinkle each with sugary lemon zest.
If the scone dough has gotten warm and the butter in the dough has softened, put the wedges in the fridge for a bit before baking (it might be a good idea to do this, just to be safe). To bake, quickly place scones directly onto your hot baking stone, leaving some space between them for scone-growth. If they won’t all fit, keep the unbaked scones in the fridge and bake them in batches. Bake til golden and flecked with brown spots, Martha says for 30-35 minutes, but this is way too long in my oven. I barely go over 20 minutes.
These will puff up grandly in the oven, but will settle when they come out—sort of like a soufflé, but these have no eggs in them, so it’s really sorta not like a soufflé. The height of the scones in the oven is pretty, but don’t be disappointed that they settle as they cool. They are delicious. (Let me know if you try them!)