Some years ago I went to Boston, Mass to visit my love. He worked during the day, so there I was, a poor little naive southern gal stuck in the middle of the biggest city I have ever seen, with nothing to do but wait for the evenings with my sweetheart. Apparently, Jay felt sorry for my daytime boredom/fear of venturing into the city without him. On day three he set me up with one of the most memorable days of my entire life. I had never been to a day spa. I had never had a full body massage, nor a total facial, nor had I ever eaten what my personal therapist for the day said she would be bringing to me to enjoy with a cup of hot tea as I relaxed on the veranda. A plate of fruit and the scones. Fruit and scones? What the heck is scones? My personal therapist explained to me that a scone is sort of like a biscuit and sort of like a tea cake, but different from both. That pretty little, perfectly groomed, girly girl, was quick to return with my plate of goodies and tea. She was supposed to go away and allow me to sit on the veranda overlooking the beautiful Massachusetts hillsides while soft and fluffy music streamed in the background. At least that was what was on the fancy agenda card they had graced me with earlier in the day. But what she really did was eagerly pulled up another rocking chair beside me and commenced to asking a million questions about good ole Dixie. I didn't mind. I actually ended up telling her all about growing up on the Tennessee River. She was mesmerized by my Tarzan vine stories and turtle egg hunting adventures. And with one bite of her "sort of like a biscuit, sort of like a teacake" she had placed on my plate, I was mesmerized as well! When I told her that her sweet biscuit was knocking my socks off we laughed together. I'm sure my bare feet (with new bright toesies) peeking from under their resort plush robe made that statement literally true. Okay not really literally true, but really funny. So, there is my story of how I met my Yankee gal pal, and my other sweet Bostonian love, The Scone. Now, here is how to make those incredible scones with blueberries and cream cheese icing.
8 Tb (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
2 Tb unsalted butter, melted
1 and 1/2 cups (about 8 oz) fresh blueberries
1/2 C Sour Cream
2 C All Purpose Flour (plus more for dusting work surface)
1/2 C Sugar, (plus a bit extra for sprinkling)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Lemon Zest (finely grated)
Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat to 425˚ F.
Wash the blueberries and put them back into the fridge to keep cold.
Grate the frozen butter. Put it back in the freezer so it will stay frozen until needed.
Whisk the milk and the sour cream together in a small bowl. Put in fridge to keep cold along with the clean berries.
Incorporate into the all purpose flour the baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and lemon zest. Add the frozen, grated butter. Toss the butter softly through the flour mix to coat the butter pieces well. Set aside.
Take the milk mixture from fridge and gently mix it into flour mixture using a spatula or wooden spoon much like making a biscuit dough.
Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and knead with well floured hands, 6-8 times, just until the dough holds together in a ragged ball. Add small amounts of flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Roll or pat the dough into a 12-inch square. Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter. Fold the short ends of the dough into the center in thirds, to form an approximate 4-inch square.
Put the dough square on a plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Return the dough to the floured work surface. Roll into 12-inch square again. Gently press blueberries into rolled out dough so that they don't roll around or move.
Using a dough scraper dipped into flour, roll the dough up to form a tight log. Lay the log seam side down and press the the log into a 12 by 4-inch rectangle. I use my rolling pin very gently to get the basic shape, then the flat side of my dough cutter to gently press the dough down until I reach the 12x4 size. I noticed it to be twice as long as my 6" cutter.
Using a sharp, floured knife, cut the rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles.
Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet (not a stone as pictured below). Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, about 20 minutes or so. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before icing.
For the Icing:
Mix 3 oz block of cream cheese, a few drops of lemon juice (based on your taste), and about 1/4 tsp vanilla flavoring to about ½ cup (or so) confectioners sugar in a blender.
Blend on high until smooth.
Pipe or smear the icing on top of each scone after it has had time to cool for a bit.
So, there ya go! The best Yankie Biscuits you will ever put in your mouth!