Re the visit out to Sonoma County last weekend, from which I admittedly returned with more lemons than may be able to use (unless you count freezing the juice): there was a component that we talked up for the whole week leading up to the trip and then entirely dismissed, and that is the impressive range of baked goods, particularly scones, that we have come across out in said country. Grounds for dismissal were simply that the lauded bakeries are between valleys, over hills and down slow-going if beautiful winding roads, and a day’s itinerary in the Sonoma and Napa Counties can’t justifiably be centered around scones.
But in pondering what do to with the remaining dozen or so lemons sitting on the kitchen table, I realized that there is no need to travel far and wide for these treats. They are so easy to make at home!! These scones actually come together more quickly than the average batch of muffins, because they are made in the food processor. I am not sure why they’re not more popular (in our household), but one reason I haven’t made them as often is that I have wrongly assumed that they are butter bombs. They can be, but these aren’t. Naturally they have some butter – four tablespoons for eight servings – to me perfectly reasonable.
This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite cookbooks, L’Art de la Table by Gintare Marcel, who points out that these scones lend themselves really well to mix-ins. Her original version is Lavender Rosemary, which also sounds delicious, and is a great reminder that breakfast baked goods do not need to be overly sugary to be satisfying. And speaking of sugary, coincidentally, the point that sugar does not equal flavor surfaced in a conversation during our time citrus harvesting last weekend. For both these reasons, I love the use of lemon here – it’s very flavorful, and seems to imply sweetness without actually being sugary.
I did make a flour substitution to the original recipe, swapping some all purpose flour for almond, in an attempt to lower the glycemic index a little and add a bit more long term satiation to the mix. On the first go, it was a disaster because I did not make any updates to the liquid measurements. On my second try, I managed to deduce that cutting the liquid back is an important second step to follow this particular flour substitution.
These have a great fluffy texture while still maintaining a lot of moisture, and the intense flavor gives them the aura of a special treat. And they can be made at a moment’s notice!
Lemon & Rosemary Scones
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Special Equipment: Food Processor, Parchment Paper
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 2/3 Cup Almond Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- Zest from 2-3 Lemons
- 4 Tbsp Chilled Unsalted Butter (1/2 Stick), Cut into Cubes
- 1/3 Cup Buttermilk, plus extra for topping
- For Homemade Buttermilk: 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice, 1 Cup 2% or Whole Milk, Combined and left at Room Temp for 10-15 minutes. (Keeps in the fridge for 1 week.)
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 Degrees F.
- Pulse dry ingredients, plus sugar, rosemary and lemon zest in the food processor to combine.
- Add the butter and pulse until mixture is coarse and crumbly.
- Add the buttermilk and blend in the processor until a cohesive dough ball forms, about :45 – 1 minute.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Press the dough ball into a disk about 1&1/2″ thick / 12″ in diameter.
- Cut the disk into eight even pieces by cutting in half, quartering and so on.
- Alternatively a circular cookie cutter can be used to make fancier scones.
- Set the wedges about 2″ apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
- Bake for 12 minutes / until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.