Scones is probably the easiest and yet very satisfying dessert possible. They take no more than a half an hour to make including the baking time. When filled with cream and berries the scones become a meal on their own. The lavender in these scones is just in the right proportion, fragrant and flavorful without bringing any pharmaceutical associations.
The recipe is adapted from Leslie Mackie.
Makes 8 scones
For the scones:
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar + 1 tsp
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tsp finely chopped dried lavender, divided
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled
- ½ cup nonfat yogurt
- ½ cup buttermilk (I used low-fat with great result) + 1 tbsp
- ¾ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the clotted cream (makes about 1 ½ cups):
- ¼ cup cold water
- ½ tsp unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup chilled sour cream
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp fine granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Assorted fresh berries for serving
Prepare the clotted cream:
Pour the water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until softens, about 5 minutes. Microwave the mixture for about 15 seconds until the gelatin dissolves. Let stand just until cool but not set, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place the sour cream in a medium bowl. Stir in the gelatin mixture. Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a small bowl until soft peaks form; fold into the sour cream mixture in 2 additions. Cover; chill at least 1 hour. Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Make the scones:
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Place this baking sheet onto another one to protect the bottom of the scones from overbrowning (it’s not totally necessary but I like to do so). Set aside.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl. Add the 1/3 cup of the sugar, lemon zest and 1 ½ tsp of the dried lavender. Mix to combine.
Cut the chilled butter into ½-inch pieces and drop into the bowl of dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the mixture until it is evenly distributed and no large pieces of butter are visible. Combine the yogurt and ½ cup of the buttermilk in a glass measuring cup, whisk. Add to the dry ingredient and stir with a fork until the dough comes together.
Coat your hands with some flour and pull the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead the dough lightly, folding and flattening it several times. Pat the dough into a 6-inch circle, approximately 1 inch thick. Transfer the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top with the remaining 1 tbsp of the buttermilk, sprinkle the remaining 1 tsp of the sugar over the top. Using a blunt side of a large knife score the circle into 8 wedges without cutting all the way through.
Bake the scones for about 23-25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool the scones on the baking sheet on a rack for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining lavender, powdered sugar, and lemon juice. Stir until smooth.
Transfer the scones onto a cutting board and cut into wedges using the scored lines as a guide. Place the scones on the rack set over the baking sheet. Drizzle the icing over slightly warm scones.
Serve with a generous dollop of the clotted cream and fresh berries of your choice.