We are a scones family. Some families make biscuits, others make cinnamon rolls, but in the Brooks, Catacalos and Whatley households, these warm butteries are preferred. And I’m not talking about those dry, overly sweet behemoths you get from Starbucks.
This is my sister Renee‘s recipe. She LOVES tea. So when she’d find a new tea find or make a pot of an old fave – like Constant Comment, which was our paternal grandmother Nanny’s favorite tea – she’d whip up these scones as an accompaniment. For me, the tea was good, but the tender, slightly sweet scones were always the headline.
Admittedly, making these is not as easy as grabbing a scone from Starbucks or the grocery store, but they’re so much better than anything you could buy. They come together quickly and are the perfect complement to your morning beverage of choice (tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, etc.). They’re also a great vehicle for your favorite jam.
Why I Love This Recipe: It requires just five ingredients – all-purpose flour, butter, sugar, baking powder and heavy cream. You can make a lot of substitutions. (See my Note on Substitutions.*) It’s great for kickin’ it or for company, kids or adults, casual breakfast or fancy brunch. It’s a really versatile recipe.
They’re 100% worth a try.
Renee’s Famous Scones
- 2 cups flour (See note.*)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup cold butter (See note.*)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and sugar. Cut butter into slices or cubes and sprinkle over flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until it’s the consistency of pebbles and sand: a coarse, crumby texture with some pea-sized pieces of butter remaining.
Stir heavy cream into the flour mixture, using 10 or 12 strokes only. There will still be some flour mixture that’s not fully incorporated. Turn the mixture onto a floured board. Knead 8 to 10 times, just enough to bring the dough together. A bench scraper may make it easier to move the dough around. The dough shouldn’t be too wet (if it is, add a tablespoon or two of flour) or too flour-y (if it is, drizzle a scant tablespoon of cream or milk onto the floury parts to incorporate it). Pat into one circle for 8 scones or divide and pat into two circles for 16 scones. Sprinkle the whole thing with a tablespoon or two of sugar. Gently press the sugar into the dough to help it adhere.
Cut into triangles, small (16 or more) or large (8), and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Place in a hot oven for 11-14 minutes for small scones or 15-20 minutes for larger ones. They should be puffed, set in the middle, golden brown on top and toasty golden brown on the bottom when done.
Pile them up in a bowl or basket and serve warm with softened butter, your favorite jam and, of course, a pot of tea. They’re also great at room temp and/or with coffee or milk.
*Note on Substitutions: Flour – I’ve used all all-purpose flour or a mix of half all purpose, half whole wheat pastry flour (pictured in this post). When I use the wheat-all purpose flour mix, I use about 3/4 cup Greek yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk or water instead of heavy cream. The bit of acid in the yogurt gives great lift. Heavy cream: I don’t always have heavy cream in the house, but find that half and half (which I do always have on hand) is a good substitute. I have also subbed plain or Greek whole milk yogurt, again thinned (so about 3/4 cup yogurt to 1/4 cup milk), instead of heavy cream. One substitution I don’t recommend is margarine instead of butter. There’s a lot more water in margarine than in butter, which could lead to tough scones.