There is a bit of confusion surrounding the definition of “scones” and (as usual) when there is any misunderstanding within the English language, it’s America’s fault. Scones are traditionally an English dish, a sophisticated, delicate, not-too-sweet accompaniment to afternoon tea. They contain very little sugar, and are served with clotted cream and fresh fruit. In reality, they are very close to what we Americans call “biscuits,” another misnomer that makes our British cousins wince. To recapitulate: Americans call “cookies” what British call “biscuits,” we call “biscuits” what they call “scones,” and we call “scones” what they call “American scones” while rolling their eyes with disapproval. Our scones are sweeter, often triangular in shape, and usually filled with nuts, chopped fruit or other fillings.
So, in hopes that I’ve cleared up the matter instead of causing more confusion, I’m leaving you with a delicious, very-American scone recipe… May the Queen forgive me!
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Whisk together 3/4 cup cream, egg, and lemon zest, set aside. In a large bowl, mix together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry blender or fingertips blend butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Stir in strawberries. Gently stir in cream mixture until just combined, do not overwork.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 6-inch circle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut into 6 wedges and separate slightly. Brush tops with 1 tablespoon cream, then bake until golden, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.
Meanwhile, make the lemon glaze: stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Cover if not using immediately.
When the scones come out of the oven, let them cool slightly before spooning on the glaze. Let the glaze cool and harden on the scones before serving.