My Lemon Blueberry Scones are the softest EVER thanks to science! These scones are made with fresh blueberries and homemade lemon curd right in the dough. They are very simple to make by hand with no fuss and they are deliciously soft and tender, not dry nor crumbly. My secret is to use SOFT butter (not cold butter) and you can learn the science behind it below in the post. Lemon and blueberry are paired together often and it's because these flavors just make sense. Blueberries are very sweet and lemon simply elevates it by adding some acidity and bright citrus taste. You will love these!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE:
- Soft and tender texture- this recipe makes the softest, moist and tender scones. Say goodbye to dry scones - these are not them!
- Lemon curd scones - there is homemade lemon curd right in the dough which makes these scones extra moist and fluffy!
- Fresh blueberry scones - fresh blueberries burst with flavor and pair with lemon so well.
- Soft butter - you don't need to work too hard to make these because there's no need to work cold butter into the flour. Soft butter mixes in easily and also makes the softest texture. You can read the details about why in the "Expert Baking Tips" section below. Butter that is cold will just melt out of the scones and we want the butter blended right in to soften the texture. Cold butter is for pastry that is baked until crisp and browned when the layers of flour toast up between layer of butter. In a scone dough, the flour will taste raw if it is not over-baked, and then they will stale quickly since the flour is not protected by fat.
- Easy to make - you can make this recipe all by hand. It's just that simple.
- All purpose flour - regular unbleached all-purpose flour will work fine in this recipe because I use soft butter. If you want an extra tender scone, you can use half cake & pastry flour which has a lower protein content (high starch content) and finer particle size.
- Granulated sugar - simple granulated sugar keeps these scones moist and helps develop the golden top.
- Baking powder - make sure it is fresh. Scones use quite a lot of baking powder as it is the only leavening agent that will give rise to them and help create a tender texture.
- Unsalted butter - I like to make scones with unsalted butter for a smooth creamy taste. You can still make this recipe with salted butter, but then reduce the added salt by half.
- Eggs - one large egg will add nice structure and help with the moist spongy texture.
- Blueberries - I only recommend fresh blueberries for scones because frozen berries can bleed and cause grey streaks in the dough. They will also be more shriveled so you won't get a nice juicy pop of berry. You can use it if it is all you have access too, I just wouldn't recommend it for best results. If you do use frozen berries, do not thaw them.
- Lemon curd - that's right! Lemon curd is part of this recipe and goes right into the scone dough! It is key to giving these scones a very soft and moist texture. I use my One Pot Lemon Curd recipe. You can keep it in the fridge up to 2 weeks, so you can make it in advance and use the rest for so many things, such as filling cakes and pastries, on top of yogurt with berries or with pancakes and crepes.
- Lemon zest - use a tablespoon of lemon zest for maximum lemon flavor which you can get from about 2 lemons.
- Lemon juice - you'll save the lemon juice to make the most delicious bright and tangy lemon glaze for topping the scones.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Blend dry ingredients. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
- STEP 2). Blend in butter. Add soft butter and rub it in with your fingertips or use a hand mixer until it resembles coarse crumbs and it is well incorporated. Make sure there are no large lumps of butter. Mix in lemon zest.
- STEP 3). Combine wet ingredients. Whisk together milk, egg and lemon curd in a small bowl.
- STEP 4). Combine wet and dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture. Fold together gently using a spatula until just moistened enough to come together.
- STEP 5). Mix in blueberries. Add the blueberries and fold them in. Do not over-mix. The dough will be quite soft and sticky but resist adding more flour.
- STEP 6). Form the dough. Generously dust your work surface with flour and turn the mixture out onto it. Fold it over just once or twice (max!) - do not knead. Sprinkle the soft sticky dough with more flour and pat it down so it is 8 inches by 6 inches pressing in loose bits as necessary. Brush off excess flour with a pastry brush and then cut into 8 pieces.
- STEP 7). Brush with milk. Transfer each scone to a parchment lined baking tray and brush tops lightly with milk.
- STEP 8). Bake for 7 minutes. Lower oven temperature and continue baking for until evenly golden on top and on the bottom. Transfer scones to a wire rack to cool before adding the glaze.
- STEP 9). Make the glaze. Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. It should be opaque white and quite thick but thin enough to drizzle. Spoon it generously over each scones. Let it set for about 14 minutes and enjoy!
EXPERT BAKING TIPS FOR LEMON BLUEBERRY SCONES
- Blend in the butter. We're not making pastry, we're making scones so we don't want lumps or "pea-sized" pieces of butter in the flour. You want the butter to be evenly incorporated into the flour so that it coats the flour particles and becomes evenly dispersed for a soft, tender texture.
- Use soft butter. This is probably the opposite of what you have seen in most scone recipes that require cold butter... specifically "rub the cold butter into the flour so it is the size of small peas". Leaving cold butter in bits in the scone dough will leave you with flaky yet dry scones. That is not for me. Soft butter that is incorporated evenly into the flour coats the flour particles and protects the proteins from hydrating and developing gluten which is what makes scones dry and tough. Using soft butter will give you such a nice fluffy texture.
- Do not over-mix the dough. Once the flour is mostly combined (with a few light streaks), then the dough is ready for patting and folding. Just flour the dough and use your hands in a cupped shape to bring the dough together and pat it out into a rectangle. You can fold it over itself once or twice, but do not knead!
- Fold the berries in gently. Mixing too vigorously will cause juices from the berries to bleed and can cause the batter to turn grey.
- Brush with milk before baking. This will prevent them from drying out excessively and also helps promote a nice golden brown top. That's because the milk proteins react with the milk sugars in a process called "Maillard browning" to create a brown color and caramel-like flavors.
- Add as much lemon zest as you want. If you love lemon, you can double the amount of lemon zest. It won't change the recipe.
Yes, you can, but I always prefer butter for its superior flavor! Shortening is great blended with butter in pies for flakiness, but for scones we are focused on tenderness and taste.
Scones will be soft if you do not add too much flour and you are careful to not over-mix the dough. The right amount of sugar and the temperature of your butter is also important for soft scones.
These lemon blueberry scones are seriously so soft and tender, but if yours turn out dense, then it could be a couple of things: you over-worked the dough, your raising agents are not active,. Make sure to use fresh baking powder and baking soda. Also, be very gentle with mixing and stop once the flour is just incorporated.
Too much flour and not enough sugar is the main reason why muffins can turn out dry and dense. It is important to have the right proportions of liquid to dry ingredients in a muffin recipe. A lower and slower baking process will also dry them out so follow the baking instructions carefully. Do not over-mix, I repeat... do not over-mix!
You can also make these scones with sour cream or creme fraiche if you don't have yogurt.
This recipe requires fresh blueberries. Frozen blueberries carry a lot of moisture that will start to leach out of the ruptured cell walls as soon as they start to thaw and this will make the dough gummy.
The dough may turn grey in spots where the blueberries burst because there's a reaction of sodium bicarbonate (which is alkaline) with the antioxidants (the color compounds responsible for that vibrant violet color of blueberries) will actually cause the color compounds to turn more blue and make the batter look grey since baking soda will increase the pH of the batter.
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Lemon Blueberry Scones
- 2 cups 284g all-purpose flour plus extra for shaping
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup 50g granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoon 84g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ cup 175ml cold milk
- ¼ cup 60ml lemon curd (I use my Easy One Pot Lemon Curd)
- 1 large cold egg
- 1 cup 140g fresh blueberries
- ¾ cup 90g powdered (icing) sugar, sifted
- 3 teaspoon 15ml lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon 5ml milk
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Make the scone dough: Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add soft butter and rub it in with your fingertips or use a hand mixer until it resembles coarse crumbs and it is well incorporated. Make sure there are no large lumps of butter. Mix in lemon zest.
- Whisk together milk, egg and lemon curd in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture. Fold together gently using a spatula until just moistened enough to come together. Add the blueberries and fold them in. Do not over-mix. The dough will be quite soft and sticky but resist adding more flour.
- Generously dust your work surface with flour and turn the mixture out onto it. Fold it over just once or twice (max!) - do not knead. Sprinkle the soft sticky dough with more flour and pat it down so it is 8 inches by 6 inches pressing in loose bits as necessary. Brush off excess flour with a pastry brush and then cut into 8 pieces.
- Transfer each scone to a parchment lined baking tray and brush tops lightly with milk. Bake for 7 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 13 minutes or until evenly golden on top and on the bottom. Transfer scones to a wire rack to cool before adding the glaze.
- Make the glaze: combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. It should be opaque white and quite thick but thin enough to drizzle. Spoon it generously over each scones. Let it set for about 14 minutes and enjoy!