Candied Lemon And Blackberry Scones
- 50 grams blackberries (about 9 berries), preferably fresh
- 120 grams white flour, plus additional for the work surface
- 7 grams baking powder
- 1 gram fine sea salt
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 35 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch (6mm) pieces
- 30 grams cold crème fraîche
- 70 grams cold buttermilk, plus additional for brushing the top of the scones
- 12 grams finely chopped Candied Lemon Peel
CANDIED LEMON PEEL
- 3 lemons, preferably Meyer lemons
- 170 grams water
- 10 grams fine sea salt
- 110 grams granulated sugar
- 20 grams honey or glucose syrup, optional
FOR THE SCONES
- Line a quarter sheet pan with plastic wrap. Spread the berries on the pan and carefully place the pan in the freezer, being careful that the berries aren’t touching. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours, or until ready to use.
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven, then preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- Put the sugar in a large bowl, add the butter, and toss to coat. Using the rounded edge of a plastic bowl scraper, chop the butter into smaller pieces while continuing to coat the pieces in the sugar. Add the flour mixture and, still using a chopping motion, mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed but the texture is still fairly chunky.
- Pour in the crème fraîche and buttermilk and, still using a chopping motion, mix until almost completely incorporated.
- Remove the berries from the freezer and, working quickly, cut them into 1/4-inch pieces (about three slices per berry). Add them to the dough, along with the candied lemon peel, and use the scraper to gently fold them in just until evenly distributed. Avoid overmixing, or the berries will bleed into the dough and give it a muddy appearance. This may seem like a small amount of dough, but it’s enough.
- Empty the scone batter onto a floured surface. Bring together then flatten with a plastic scraper. Cut the dough in half and place one half on top of the other. Next, cut one-third of the dough and place it on the top of the remaining dough, in the middle. Cut the remaining third and place it on top of the two layers. Flatten the dough and repeat two more times. The last time, press the dough into a 3 by 8-inch rectangle about 1 inch thick.
- Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into six equal rectangles. Turn each rectangle on its side so that what was a cut surface is now the top. And gently press each enough to create an oval shape. Transfer the scones to the lined pan, with the long dimension running the length of the pan and checkerboarding them in two rows of two and two rows of single pieces. Brush the tops with buttermilk.
- Bake, rotating the pan about two-thirds of the way through baking, until golden brown, about 13 minutes.
- The scones are best if eaten within 1 hour of baking, but once completely cooled, they can be stored (uncut) in a paper bag or cardboard box for up to 24 hours.
FOR THE CANDIED LEMON PEEL
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest off the lemons in lengthwise strips. (Store the lemon flesh in the refrigerator for another use.) With a paring knife, scrape off any white pith from inside the strips of lemon peel.
- Prepare a medium bowl of ice water. Bring 120 grams of the water and the salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the lemon peel and cook until tender enough that you can puncture the outside of the peel with a fingernail, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lemon peel to the ice bath and let cool completely. Drain well, then transfer the lemon peel to a small, heatproof storage container.
- In a clean small saucepan, combine the remaining 50 grams water and 50 grams of the sugar, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the syrup over the lemon peel, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Strain the liquid into a clean small saucepan, add 20 grams of the sugar, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the syrup over the lemon peel, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Repeat the previous step two more times.
- The candied lemon peels can be refrigerated for up to 2 months or frozen for up to 1 year. If you think you’ll be storing some of the candied peels for more than a few days, add the honey or glucose syrup when adding the final 20 grams of sugar to the syrup, to prevent crystallization.