Light as a feather and rich in the taste of fresh strawberries, this Strawberry Scone recipe is lightened up in time for the New Year. You don't have to wait until strawberries come into season to enjoy this recipe. I've even included ways dozens of flavor suggestions to inspire you more to play with the flavors here.
Let's face it. Here in the U.S., something has happened to our strawberries. I remember growing them as a kid. They were nothing short of magical. But if you go to the grocery store, more often than not, I've had the unfortunate luck of buying strawberries that were picture perfect, but taste like, well, nothing. Watery fruits of almost no flavor.
Occasionally, I'll get a good batch. But the tasteless seem to outnumber the deeply flavorful ones I remember from when I was younger.
Plus, I've seen pints of out of season strawberries selling for nearly $10 a pint here near NYC. Ouch. And yes, seem to crave fruit when it is out of season.
So this recipe takes care of several things: it eliminates the need for strawberries to be in season, but is also allows you to pack more strawberry flavor into the dough AND you won't even need to chop the strawberries either.
Also, if you are feeling less than inspired in the kitchen I've also included ways to modify and inspire some kitchen creativity.
When are Strawberries in Season?
While strawberries can be found year round in grocery stores. Strawberries in the US are in peak season between April and June. However, if they aren't in season or seem tasteless, you are better off using freeze dried strawberries for this recipe. If you don't have freeze dried, then 1.5 cups of fresh strawberries chopped small will work as well, but with moist fresh strawberries, they won't hold up well on the counter for a length of time.
Plus, it will be a bit more challenging to mix them in. So what is my solution?
Why use Freeze-Dried Strawberries?
Yes, for this recipe I'm using freeze-dried strawberries. Yes, as a snack they taste like astronaut food. But rehydrated, they have a vibrant strawberry flavor. While it isn't a traditional choice, it allows you make them on a whim and might be a better choice for scones because
- you might not devour all 8 scones in one sitting
- freeze-dried strawberries are pretty intense in flavor to begin with
- no need to wait until strawberries are in season
- fresh strawberries do get a bit funky if they are cut and left out for any length of time
- you'll get all the intense flavor of strawberries and they'll freeze well if you want to make this for later (or make one at a time).
What kind of scones are there?
Scones are generally speaking a kind of short bread. It's leavened with baking powder, not yeast. There are two basic kinds of scone dough: cream scones and buttermilk scones. Cream scones rely far more on heavy cream and butter than this recipe for buttermilk scones. Buttermilk scones are lighter in calories overall. Perfect for those keeping an eye on calories.
Both yield delicious scones, but if you are looking for some lighter fare, then go for the buttermilk recipe. I estimate that these are about 250 calories each.
Scones can also be sweet or savory. So while this recipe is more of a sweet scone with the addition of fruit, it does not have a lot of extra sugar added in. If you crave something sweet to put on top of this there is no shortage of flavor possibilities you can come up with.
Tips on Making Strawberry Scones
- While it seems like an odd ingredient, freeze-dried strawberries are intense in flavor because the moisture has been removed (don't worry, we will be adding that back in)
- Because the freeze-dried strawberries don't have the water content that fresh ones to, they will be easier to work into the dough as just one 1.2 ounce bag is the equivalent of 12 ounces of fresh strawberries and won't spoil as quickly either. Yes, those watery fruits get a bit wonky if you don't consume them within 24 hours.
- You can make this in advance, freeze the dough, and use at a later date (or just one at a time). Just be sure to defrost the dough overnight in the refrigerator.
- Freeze dried strawberries are available in most grocery stores, Trader Joe's, or even on Amazon.
- Don't overwork the dough as you'll might make it tough
- You'll know you are successful in finding the right balance between combining the flaky dough and overworking it when you divide this into 8 pieces. If you see lots of flaky layers like a biscuit, you have done your job well.
What about a topping for these?
My husband prefers these plain, I love a glaze. This flavor lends it self to a chocolate drizzle (yes dark, milk or white chocolate would work here as well). I'll leave this as an option. Nuts would also make for an interesting topping. Honey or honey butter would make for a great compliment as well. And come to think of it, I do want to give you some ideas as to how you can add your own twist on this recipe.
Suggestions for Modifying This Recipe
As a home cook and blogger, a recipe should be a starting point. I believe that your taste buds are different than mine. So here is my completely incomplete list of pairings that should work if you wish to modify the original recipe.
Here at Become Betty, one of my main objectives was always to inspire you, the reader, to be more creative in the kitchen. Consider these my Betty Twist, an easy and inspiring list to help you get more daring and creative. These flavor suggestions all pair well with strawberries. Scone dough is a nearly blank canvas that allows for lots of flavors to shine.
If you wish to add spice to this recipe then consider the following as they pair well with strawberries: ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and vanilla. All of these are assertive so consider adding a little rather than a lot. You can always add more, you can't take away. Spice would work in a glaze or in the dough itself. Just add it in with the flour if you are going to add it to the dough. Start with ½ tsp of one spice. You can always add more.
If you wish to add a fruit glaze then juice or mash fruit with 10x sugar. Here is a list of fruits that pair well with strawberries: apricot, blackberries, blueberries, lemon, lime, mango, orange, peaches, pineapple, raspberries, and rhubarb are all known to pair well with strawberries. Be sure they are pureed and add 10x sugar for a glaze.
If you wish to swap the water for something more adult to rehydrate the strawberries (or in the glaze), judgement free zone here, then consider amaretto, brandy, cognac, kirsch, Grand Marnier, a berry or orange liqueur, port, rum, sherry, or wine. Because those alcohols are of varying potency, I would swap a tablespoon of the water for one of the alcohols listed here to rehydrate the strawberries. You can always modify it for next time. And yes, these would make a good glaze too.
If you are thinking about adding in nuts as a topping then almonds, peanuts, and pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts would all work well here too. If you are going to add this to the dough, then mix it in at the same time as the strawberries. If you are going to use them as a topping, then make sure they are slivered or chopped, and press them into the dough. Be sure to add an egg wash to the uncooked scones before putting them in the oven, otherwise the nuts might burn.
Now, I wouldn't suggest adding all of these in at the same time. Experiment with one or two and see where it goes for you. For example, I've rehydrated the strawberries using some Chambord. Totally came out delicious. It was just an added layer of flavor. Plus, doesn't Chambord soaked strawberry scones with meyer lemon glaze make you sound like a rockstar? I think so.
Tips for Freezing this Recipe
This recipe yields 8 scones. But I live in a household of two. I prefer my scones fresh. Wrap your scones, either individually or in pairs, in plastic wrap. Place them in a freezer bag. Label the bag as "Strawberry Scones" and be sure to add in "Defrost overnight in Refrigerator. Preheat oven to 425F. Bake for 14 minutes."
Why do this? I'm not a morning person. My functioning level is not good before 8AM. Therefore, it is easier for you to look back at the bag, rather than hunt down this recipe. If you like this recipe, you can refill that plastic freezer bag as often as you like.
Watch Me Make These (60 Seconds)
How to Make Strawberry Scones
As a baking rule of thumb, you need to preheat your oven to 425F. The only time you don't do this in baking is when dough needs to chill or yeast needs to rise. This is a quick bread therefore, you need to preheat your oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
Step 1 Measure out all of your ingredients in advance. This is Mise en Place. In English, this means to get everything out before you start to make sure there is no middle of the recipe runs to the store. That's not what it really translates to, but I remember being sent to the store as a kid from time to time. Might have happened once or twice as an adult.
Step 2 Open your bag of freeze dried strawberries. Remove packet of desiccant and discard it. Squeeze 5-6 times to break up the strawberries (this "cuts" them so you wont need to take out of knife or cutting board). Add ⅓ cup of water and set aside to rehydrate.
Step 3 In a food processor, add 2 cups all purpose flour, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 pinch of salt, 1 stick of cold butter that has been cubed. Pulse about 10 times to combine. If you don't have a food processor use a pastry blender and a large bowl instead.
And the correct texture when this is processed is pea sized:
Step 4 Slowly add buttermilk to the flour mixture in the food processor. Pulse while pouring to combine.
Step 5 Lightly flour a work surface and knead dough until combined. Become Betty kitchen hack: lightly flour a baking sheet in place of your usual floured surface, place a towel under the baking sheet, and use that as your work surface. Less flour to get all over your kitchen. Less mess brings me more joy.
Step 6 Squeeze strawberries to remove excess moisture and add to dough. Work in the strawberries into the dough to evenly distribute.
Step 7 Shape dough into a round disk about an inch thick. Cut into 8 equal sized pieces to ensure even cooking. I removed a few for freezing. Place scones onto lined cookie sheet. Brush the top with cream or egg white or heavy whipping cream to ensure a golden brown top. Place in oven on the middle rack.
Step 8 Bake for 14-17 minutes. Start checking for doneness at 12 minutes. Every oven is different and you want these to be moist. Place them on a cooling rack.
Step 9 Remove from oven when golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Step 10 (Optional) Make a glaze-Combine ½ cup of confectioners (10x) sugar in a bowl with 1.5 tbsp of liquid. For this batch of scones, I made a lemon glaze with powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
And then drizzle over the scones like so:
I hope you find these Strawberry Scones delicious! I also hope that I've left you with suggestions to inspire some kitchen creativity.
If you try this, would you mind hitting the "Rate" button? I'd love to know what you thought of it. If you tried one of my modifications, please let me know how it turned out. I love comments!
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Recipe Adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking:
- 1 1.2 ounce bag of Freeze Dried Strawberries if unavailable, then 1 cups of fresh cut into small pieces will work as well.
- ¼ cup water for rehydrating the strawberries
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 stick butter, cold, cut into cubes (4 ounces)
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- flour for work area
- cream for brushing on the top of the scones
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicone mat to prevent sticking and for easy clean up.
- Open bag of freeze dried strawberries. Remove packet of desiccant and discard. (Omit if you are using fresh strawberries)
- Gently squeeze bag of freeze dried strawberries 5-6 times in order to "cut" the strawberries (Omit if you are using fresh strawberries and cut the fresh ones small)
- Add water to bag of freeze dried strawberries to rehydrate. If no bag is usable for this, then use a separate bowl to rehydrate. Set aside. (Omit if you are using fresh strawberries)
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter. Pulse about 10 times to combine. Butter should be the size of a pea. If no food processor is available, then use a pastry cutter to combine OR use a box grater to shred the butter then use a fork to combine.
- In the food processor, slowly pour the buttermilk, pulsing to combine.
- When buttermilk is just combined, remove contents of the food processor and move dough on to a lightly floured work surface.
- At this point your dough should look dry and crumbly. With your hands knead the dough until it can hold its shape.
- Reach for the strawberries, which were set aside. Before you add them in, give them a squeeze before adding them to the dough to remove excess moisture.
- Work strawberries into dough until combined. Form dough into a round shape that is about 1 inch tall.
- Using either a knife, pastry cutter, or pizza cutter slice your dough into 8 equal sized pieces. This ensures the slices will cook evenly.
- Brush the lightly beaten cream (or an egg white if cream is unavailable) on top of the scone.
- Put into oven on the middle rack. Bake for 14-17 minutes until they are golden brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- If it has biscuit like layers when you cut your 8 slices then you have done your job well.
- To avoid strawberries from browning too much, be sure to push them into the dough more before brushing with cream or going into the oven.
- Take this recipe as a starting point. Come back to BecomeBetty for all the flavor pairings you might want to try.
- To make a simple glaze add ½ cup of confectioners (10x) sugar plus 1.5 tablespoon of a liquid (fruit juice or something more adult). Mix until well combined and smooth. Drizzle on top.