FRESH STRAWBERRY SCONES
1 cup fresh strawberries, diced (use very fresh strawberries, not really juicy ones)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar plus more for sprinkling, if desired
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 ½ sticks very cold unsalted butter, diced
2 eggs, beaten (make sure eggs are cold so you don’t melt the butter)
½ cup less 1 teaspoon heavy cream (make sure it is cold)
1 teaspoon imitation strawberry extract (optional but it really pumps up the flavor)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Egg Wash: 1 egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk or water
Spread the fresh strawberries out on a paper towel after you dice them and allow them to dry out a bit. This way, some of the juice is absorbed before you put them into the batter. If the berries are too juicy, the batter becomes too wet. Allow the berries to “dry” for at least an hour first before adding to the batter.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
In the large bowl of your mixer, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, and baking powder, salt, and lemon zest on the lowest speed of your mixer; add the cold butter until the butter is the size of peas. Crack the eggs into a bowl, one at a time; add the cold cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and strawberry extract. Lightly whisk the eggs with a fork to combine and slowly pour into the flour mixture. The batter will quickly combine. As soon as it comes together, stop the mixer. Don’t over beat. Now, quickly toss the strawberries with the remaining flour and add to the mixture. Turn on the mixer for approximately 10 seconds to incorporate the berries. Be very careful; if you mix it too much, the strawberries will make the batter too wet. If you have strawberries left in the bottom of the mixer, just dump them out with the batter and work them in when you roll out the dough.
Dump the dough out onto a well floured surface. Before you touch it, I find it helps to rinse your hands with cold water so the heat from your hands does not melt the butter. Flour your hands, the rolling pin, and the biscuit cutter. Working quickly, roll the dough out to about ¾ inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut the dough into circles. Place the dough onto the baking pan lined with parchment paper and brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until the tops are browned. If the scones are large, you may need to increase the baking time.
These scones are best eaten hot from the oven. And you can add a classic Confectioners’ sugar glaze if you like but they are wonderful without.