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PHEW, it’s hot in the Bee’s Bakery kitchen. The only respite seems to be sitting in the park after work and chilling out with some snacks and drinks on a blanket.
Since I opened my bakery, there is absolutely no way I can get away with shop-bought bakes for these events, and more often than not, my friends expect something personalised and unique if we meet for a picnic – lucky them! Naturally, I’m often struck with a panic just before I leave the house – what is super quick, easy, has simple ingredients, but still impresses at a picnic in the park? Scones, of course.
Scones work for me every single time. I always have the ingredients in my cupboards, and they take about 20 minutes to knock out. What’s even better is that if I have to literally throw them into a basket before I run out the door, they’re even more delicious and impressive served warm.
Savoury scones are also very cool, and unexpected, and luckily Jamie has a great recipe for some cheesy ones with cumin.
Looking into the history of the scone, I am absolutely delighted to report that, like me, they are of Scottish origin! According to Webster’s dictionary, they originated north of the English border in the early 1500s, though their format was a wee bit different back then. A kind of quick bread, they were often made with oats or oatmeal, and often cooked on the griddle rather than the oven. The origin of the name is contested, with the Dutch claiming the word Scone originated from their word for beautiful quickbread “Schoonbrot”, but although I may be biased, I believe the Scots on this one; they say that the word originates from the Scottish Stone of Scone, or Stone of Destiny, a hugely important relic in Scottish history, which was used to enthrone Scottish Monarchs. The story goes that the English Monarch Edward I pinched the stone in 1296 and it has remained in England until the present day – underneath the coronation chair in London’s Westminster Abbey.
Now, back to baking: making my own strawberry jam always gets me extra brownie points too, and there’s a super simple straightforward recipe that I follow, that works for me every single time – I’ve included it below.
The origin of preserving fruit is a bit simpler, and doesn’t involve any Scottish—English rivalry! It seems that the Romans were the first to record methods for preserving fruit with honey and, later, sugar, and recipes for preserving fruit and vegetables using spices, vinegar and salt in addition to sugar were part of the history of chutney-making in India.
I had no idea that the components of scones and jam were so steeped in history, to be honest. I learnt my first scone recipe from one of Mary Berry’s books from the ‘70s, and at the time I thought this was ancient enough!
So here it is; my recipe for homemade blueberry scones and strawberry jam. You can substitute the blueberries for dried fruit – either sultanas, or dried cranberries whichever you like. If using dried fruit, I often like to soak it in hot water for about 20 minutes before use, so that it becomes plump and juicy. Have a little play with the amount of fruit you add to find your perfect amount.
Blueberry scones and strawberry jam recipe
For the blueberry scones:
- 220g white self-raising flour
- 50g butter at room temperature
- 20g white caster sugar
- 150ml/5fl oz. full-fat milk
- A handful of small blueberries (cut the big ones in half)
- 1 free-range egg, beaten, for glazing
For the jam:
- 500g fresh strawberries, washed and dried
- Juice of half a lemon (no pips please)
- 500g jam sugar (most supermarkets sell this – it includes pectin, which helps the jam to set)
This recipe makes enough for about two jars but you can double it for more.
Method – for the jam
Try to make sure that the strawberries are roughly the same size by chopping any giant ones into the same size pieces as the smallest ones. This helps them to heat and all cook at the same speed.
In a large flat-bottomed pot or pan, gently heat the strawberries with the lemon juice gently until they are softened. Add the jam sugar and stir all together over a low heat (no frantic boiling or burning) until the sugar has dissolved into the strawberry mixture.
Bring the contents of the pot to a solid, steady boil where the jam is bubbling evenly across its surface, stir once to make sure nothing is catching on the bottom of the pan, and boil constantly without stirring for around 5-7 minutes. You’re looking for a steady slow bubbly boil here, not a mad violent spitting boil as this will burn the jam and mess up your kitchen too.
After about 5-7 mins, the jam will reach what I known as “setting point”, where you know it has cooked for long enough to be able to set into a firm jam consistency. To test if you’ve reached this point, spoon a little bit of the liquid onto the plate and leave somewhere cool for a minute. Using your finger (making sure the jam isn’t so hot it’ll burn you), prod the blob of jam – if it wrinkles, looks like its forming a skin and stays to the place where you’ve pushed it, then hey presto, you have jam! If not, boil for another minute and repeat the process.
Once its done, remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit, at which point you can pour/spoon/ladle it into sterilised jars (you can sterilise old jam jars by boiling them in a large pot of water for a couple of minutes to kill off any bugs). Pop the lids on and boom – you’ve got jam.
Don’t be disheartened if your first attempt is a bit too runny, or a bit too solid for your liking – try it again and use all your learnings from the first batch to become a jam-maker extraordinaire.
Method – for the scones
Pre-heat your oven to 210 °C and lightly grease a baking tray/sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together the butter and flour using your fingertips until the butter is all mixed in. Add the fruit – coating it in the flour mixture will help the fruit to keep its shape without popping in the oven.
Once all the fruit is combined, add 2/3 of your milk and mix very gently with a wooden spoon. You’re looking to work the dough as little as possible, which will ensure light and fluffy scones.
If the mix looks too dry, add some more milk – you want a mixture that doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl but forms a nice floury lump in the middle.
Tip your scone mixture onto a floured worktop/board and very lightly, for the least amount of time possible, knead together for a few seconds until it forms a round. Press down or use a rolling pin gently till you reach a consistent thickness of about 4cm.
Using your favourite round cutter, or the rim of a small teacup or jar, whichever you have, cut as many circles from the dough as you can. Gather up the scraps and bring together into another round that you can cut more scones from – placing the ones you’ve already cut onto your baking tray a good few centimeters apart.
Using the egg wash and either a pastry brush or your fingertips, brush the tops of your scones with the egg – this’ll give a nice rich shiny top to your scones. Try not to let the egg mixture run down the sides of your scones, or it’ll seal the edges and stop them rising all the way round, meaning you’ll get a wonky scone.
Bake for about 12–15 minutes. To test if they’re done, identify the wonkiest/most misshapen scone you have on your tray, remove it from the oven and cut open to check whether its cooked all the way through. If not, pop them all back in the oven for a minute.
Once cooked, allow to cool a wee tiny bit, cut into halves and spoon some of your awesome strawberry jam on top, with a little bit of clotted cream, or cream cheese if you have it, and enjoy!
Homemade Blueberry Scones
Fresh blueberries make these tender, buttery scones a wonderful morning treat. They're easy to mix and bake, and they're perfect for a family snack or special brunch. Sprinkle the tops with sugar or vanilla sugar and serve with butter, preserves, lemon curd, or a flavored cream cheese spread.
Scones are similar to biscuits in preparation. Just remember to work the dough as little as possible and you'll have tender, light, and delicious scones. If you're using fresh blueberries, be sure to freeze them before you start the scones.
What you need
You can think of a homemade shortcake as a cross between a biscuit and a scone, so a recipe for shortcake will look very familiar.
Like biscuits, shortcakes have a recipe ratio of 3-1-2 flour-liquid-fat. The list of ingredients in a shortcake biscuits recipe from scratch will look familiar.
The liquid used in a shortcake recipe is milk or cream to tenderize and add richness like with a scone. And while these shortcakes are sweetened like scones, but not enriched with egg, they're more flaky.
So the perfect shortcake will be sweet, flaky, and buttery.
Perfect for soaking up those strawberry & blueberry juices!
- 4 ¾ cups fresh blueberries
- 4 ¾ cups fresh sliced strawberries, hulled
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 ½ tablespoons powdered fruit pectin for low- or no-sugar recipes
In an 8- to 10-qt. heavy pot crush 1 cup of the blueberries with a potato masher. Continue adding blueberries and strawberries and crushing until you have 6 cups crushed berries. Stir in the water, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims adjust lids and screw bands.
Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner 10 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars cool on wire racks.
Because sugar affects how pectin works and this recipe does not contain sugar, you'll need to use pectin made specifically for lower-sugar recipes.
Scones Filled with Jam Recipe & Video
As I get older, I find it fascinating how I remember some things from my past so vividly, while other seemingly important experiences have completely faded from my memory. Eating my first scone as a child I remember it like it was yesterday. We had flown to England to visit my grandparents who lived in Yeovil, and they had taken us on a day trip to explore Bath. In the afternoon we stopped at a restaurant for tea and scones. Small round scones were served on a pretty tiered cake stand, alongside pots of jam and a bowl of Devon cream. I remember splitting my scone in half and spreading each half with jam and lots of clotted cream. I couldn't stop eating them. The combination of a soft and flaky scone with sweet jam and the wonderful creamy richness of Devon Cream was delicious. And forever after, I like to eat my scones with jam. So I decided to make a scone that has the jam baked right inside the scone. No more cutting the scones in half and spreading them with jam after they are baked. They are great to eat on-the-go. And of course, they are excellent with a dollop of Devon Cream on top.
Scones: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
In a bowl whisk the cream with the beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until the flour mixture is moistened and a dough is starting to form. Do not over mix.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then divide the dough in half (about 290 grams for each half). Pat or roll each half of the dough into a circle that is about 8 inches (20 cm) round.
Egg Wash: In a small bowl whisk the egg and cream.
Spread the jam on one round of the dough, leaving about a one inch (2.5 cm) border. Brush the border with the egg wash. Then place the second round of dough on top of the jam, gently sealing the edges. Crimp the edges of the dough with the tines of a fork. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash. (This helps to brown the tops of the scones during baking.)
Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. If desired, garnish with a dollop of Devon cream or softly whipped cream.
T hese scones are best the day they are made, but can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days or they can be frozen.
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml/grams) cream (can use half-and-half, light or heavy whipping cream)
There is an art to everything worth enjoying.
Another important bit of advice is to cut your butter into fine pieces or small pea size chunks and put it in the freezer, you do not want the butter and the flour to cream together. It is important to work with the butter as cold as possible. The butter chunks will melt during the baking process leaving those beautiful holes where the flavor collects.
Finally the folding of your dough especially for scones is important, don’t just roll it out and cut circles. By folding the dough and re-folding you are creating those wonderful buttery layers in the scones that your jam and cream will search out.
These simple scones are wonderful anytime of day and with most any meal or snack time. We hope you enjoy and share with friends.
Our strawberry jam makes a wonderful filling in this handsome Swiss Jelly Roll, add a touch of the creme topping and oh what a delight!
Why You Will Love This!
- You can make the scones a day ahead, cut them and place them on a baking tray and refrigerate.
- Then all you have to do the next day is bake!
- Or you can bake them and freeze them, they reheat beautifully in the microwave wrapped in a paper towel. Freshly baked scones anytime!
How to store and freeze scones
Like many baked goods, AIP Master Scones freeze beautifully. Simply seal in a plastic bag or other airtight storage container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To defrost, leave out at room temperature for 4 hours or overnight. To reheat, place in preheated 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes.
If you plan to freeze your scones, wait to garnish them until after they’re fully defrosted. You may need to blot any moisture from them with a dry paper towel before adorning them.
These blueberry scones are one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made! Buttery and packed full of bursting blueberry flavour, they’re also so simple to make! You’ll have some whipped up in about 30 minutes. Ready, set, GO!
I love blueberries SO much, especially these blueberry muffins and this yummy zesty lemon and blueberry cake. I’m sure I’ll be stuffing them into everything this summer too.
I baked these scones for a spring afternoon tea to say farewell to a good friend. We ate them with clotted cream and homemade blueberry jam, and they were perfectly tender and melt in the mouth. Such a good combination – similar to a traditional cream tea with strawberry jam, but a bit new and interesting too.
The jam wasn’t homemade by me – I got it from a weekly Country Market that the WI holds (lots of places, but also in my hometown!). You can get the most amazing jams and preserves, plus cakes and breads, eggs and veg, and some crafty items too! I’ll definitely be going back when I run out of this blueberry jam…
When baking scones, there are a few rules we need to follow for the best scones. They’re simple, but crucial, so I’ll explain more below. It took me a while to get more proficient at baking scones, because they’re so different to cakes. With a cake or cookie, we want the butter to be very soft, or even melted, ready to mix completely with the sugar. With scones, we need little pockets of butter in the dough, to give the delicious scone texture we know and love!
Here are your scone rules:
- Use very cold chilled butter (it needs to be in the fridge until the moment you’re about to use it)
- Don’t mix everything fully – we need those lumps of butter to remain intact! You can use either the rubbing in method (remember it from school?), a food processor or use a pastry blender. Either way, you want visible lumps of butter so go slow and remember, less is more!
- Be gentle – once the dough comes together, treat it as tenderly as you would a newborn baby. No, really! The rougher you are with it, the tougher your scones will be. We’re not even going to roll it out, just pop it onto your floured work surface and pat it into an even round before cutting out your scones.
I use frozen blueberries for these scones, as I always have them on hand for smoothies, but you can equally use fresh without a problem. I tend to find that frozen blueberries give a neater appearance, but that’s about the only difference.
I have a set of these cutters – one side is fluted and the other plain. You can make these scones however large you want – really teeny bite size scones are super cute!
Vanilla Layer Cake with Blackberry Jam from Super Golden Bakes
White Chocolate Raspberry Cake from Liv For Cake
- cooking spray
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons white sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup butter, cut into chunks
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, or to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
Whisk flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Cut in butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir blueberries and buttermilk into the flour mixture until combined.
Gather dough into a ball and knead on a lightly floured board for 2 minutes. Then roll dough out into a 3/4-inch-thick slab. Cut into 3-inch triangles with a sharp knife and distribute scones evenly onto the prepared baking sheets. Brush tops with egg white and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from the baking sheets and place on cooling racks. Dust tops with powdered sugar serve warm.