My Irish friend and former fellow intern, Ruth—who sweetly had bright red hair and the heaviest of Irish accents—was quickly recognized for her baking. More specifically, the large buttery scones she brought into the office. They were sweet enough to satisfy everyone’s morning sweet tooth but not overly sugary so as to feel unvirtuous…which is why perhaps they were so easy to eat again in the afternoon, it was teatime after all!
These scones would be a lovely treat come St. Patrick’s Day (or anytime, really). They’re adapted from San Francisco’s oft-lauded Tartine Bakery. I recommend using the delicious, and appropriately Irish, Kerrygold butter in the recipe for an extra something. It’s sold at most stores, including Trader Joe’s.
Irish Scones (makes 8 scones)
Adapted from Tartine’s Buttermilk Scones
2 cups + 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter (Kerrygold brand if possible)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, if frozen do not thaw)
1.5 tablespoons butter, melted
Sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400ºF
Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda, then mix in sugar, salt and lemon zest.
Dice your (very cold) butter into 1/2-inch cubes and scatter over the dry ingredients. Use a fork to mix the butter into the dry ingredients (though I always end up using my hands to kind of roll the mix through my fingers). It will be mixed when the butter is dispersed throughout the flour in slightly larger than pea-sized lumps.
Add the buttermilk and blueberries, mix gently with a spatula until dough comes together. If the mixture seems dry, add a bit more buttermilk (I usually need a tablespoon or so extra).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and shape it into 1 ½ inch thick disk. Cut the disk into 8 wedges, then use a turner/spatula to separate and space out the wedges on the baking sheet. Spoon the melted butter over the tops of the scones, using the back of the spoon to spread it around, then sprinkle the tops with sugar.
At this point you can either bake the scones for 25-30 minutes or freeze them. I found they turned out beautifully when frozen the night before and baked the next morning and were still done at the 25 min. point so watch them carefully. Enjoy with butter, jam, clotted cream or just on their own!
Image via Pastry Affair