Delicious Sweet-or-Savory Scones

My first CSA box had a bag of frozen strawberries that had already thawed by the time I got home. I had to use those strawberries fast. Since thawed strawberries naturally seep out a lot of juice, they were perfect for a sauce, but (for once) I wasn’t in the mood for cake. This last weekend was chilly, dark, and rainy, so I wanted a warm treat for breakfast–and I had a guest to serve. So Mary and I made scones.

I made a rather basic scone recipe from Nigella Lawson. So basic, in fact, that it has no sugar! Fresh out of the oven, the scones were fantastic—light, airy and delicious. Crumbly, like a good scone should be. We halved them and spooned some strawberries and juice onto the bottom half. A little whipped cream and it would have been an excellent version of strawberry shortcake—as it was, it was exactly the warm treat I was looking for.

I had leftover scones for the next few days. The problem with scones is that after the first few hours, they become a little soft or soggy feeling. My solution to this was to pop them in the toaster over at 350° for a few minutes. The tops darkened slightly, but they were the perfect texture once again.
I also tried them with a savory topping with a dinner salad. I took the warm-from-the-toaster-oven scone, cut it in half, and added a slice of cheese and some roasted red peppers to the middle. It was just as good as the sweet version—the scone can be a great substitute for biscuits.
Sweet-or-Savory Scones
Adapted from “Lily’s Scones” in Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess*
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons shortening, in small lumps
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Shift dry ingredients together. Use a pastry blender to blend in butter and shortening until the mixture is even and crumbly. Add all the milk, and mix until just blended. Lay on floured surface and knead briefly–it will seem like a sticky mess.
The original recipe call for rolling out the dough and using a round cutter. I simply rolled it to a 1 in. thick rectangle and cut it into 12 equally-sized pieces.
Place scones on baking sheet–they can be close together–and bake for 20 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Serve warm or reheated.
* Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks! So many good recipes, with a focus on baked goods and other comfort foods. And her language is casual and food-passionate. She’s English, so I’ll admit there’s a recipe or two that I haven’t loved, but there’s at least a half dozen recipes in each of her books (and I own several) that’s in permanent rotation in my family.
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