For the past few months my house has become Scone City, when each Saturday I make a new batch of scones; trying a variety of sweet and savory. I am not the most disciplined recipe tester, but I’ve gotten into it as I play with different methods, flavors and ingredients. After making at least seven types, and a few permutations of each there are a few opinions about which is the favorite, or if there is one. My freezer is full of bags of frozen scones, waiting for whatever mood the morning may bring.
I started with a basic scone recipe, and fooled around with amounts of butter and types of milk, including heavy cream, full fat yogurt, milk and sour cream. I am not a fan of low fat products, especially when baking because if you remove the fat you need to replace it with something as fat plays an important role in baked goods (in all food really) including flavor, texture and leavening. A friend asked me to come up with a vegan recipe, which I plan on doing, but haven’t started on yet.
My ideal scone is craggy and crunchy on the outside while tender on the inside. It’s OK if they crumble a little, but no too much. They are best warm from the oven, but they freeze well if you wrap them individually then store them in a heavy re-closable bag with as much air removed as you can. I use a primitive method of vacuum sealing by closing the bag most of the way, leaving about one inch open. I squeeze that opening, exhale as much air as I can from my lungs, then suck the air from the bag and close it as fast as possible. Not perfect, but good enough. They will keep about six months, but probably won’t last that long.
Sweet scones are nice for breakfast, but also make a great afternoon snack with a cup of tea. Savory scones are also good for breakfast/brunch, but can stand in for biscuits at lunch or dinner. Some people roll their scone dough/batter into a circle and cut it into pie wedges, some roll them into a square or rectangle and then cut them into triangles. I prefer not to roll them because the less you handle them the more tender they are. I scoop mine. You can feel free to use any scone recipe and form I any way you like, my only advice is that if you roll them you let the scones relax for 10-15 minutes before baking.
There was no clear winner for favorite, but the sweet ones were more popular than the savory. The top three were (in no particular order) sour cherry with almonds and white chocolate, candied ginger with apricot and white chocolate, and toasted pecan with chocolate. The blueberry-lemon were good, as were the savory smoked cheddar with scallions. My personal favorite was the pecan with cheddar and bacon. A while ago (sort of the start of this madness) I made a savory one with bacon, cheddar and pecans which I should make again soon, as they were splendid.
I hope the variety of recipes inspires you to come up with your own combos, and that you’ll send them to me, as I’m always looking for a new combo. The basic dough can handle three cups of mix-ins, and will yield eight good sized scones; I use a 4 oz. scoop. If you’re a scone fan, check back, as I’ll continue adding recipes. What is your perfect scone?