As previously mentioned last summer, the family tree of blueberry-loving ingredients goes something like this: Blueberry marries Lemon and lives happily ever after. They just go together like BFFs, like two peas in a pod, etc etc. Mint is Blueberry's crazy cousin that always shows up with a bottle of liquor and a sugar-rimmed glass and says, hey let's throw a party while mom's out of town! Now Lavender... Lavender is probably Grandma- you like her perfume but too much of it and hugging Grandma feels like you just buried your face in potpourri. Chuck too many dried lavender buds into your baked goods and you might as well be eating soap. And yet! Drop a teaspoon of dried lavender into 1 cup of sugar, let it set for at least a day, then use the sugar in your favorite blueberry scone recipe and you've just created magic. All of the floral notes are in the background, adding complexity to your baked goods without tasting like you're chowing down on your bubble bath bomb.
So it took me three tries to get this right. That's 24 scones I either had to eat or foist on unsuspecting friends, if you're counting. The first time I should have put them in the fridge or freezer for a bit before baking; when it's 95 degrees outside even with a small air conditioner inside, butter comes to room temperature kinda fast. And warm butter does not make pretty scones. They spread out into giant puddles of melted butter. Of course the end result still tasted good, but they looked like thin muffin tops (on actual muffins, not the kind you see in the People of Walmart videos- what would a scone-muffin hybrid be called, a scuffin? That's probably better than muffcone- ahem, that sounds vaguely dirty). Anyway.... the second time I somehow had zero lemons in the house and while they weren't bad without the zest I really wanted to see how the lemon + blueberry + lavender combination turned out. Third time's the charm! I froze the cubes of butter for 30 minutes before cutting them into the flour, and I even threw the sheet pan of unbaked scones in my freezer for 20 minutes or so before baking just to make sure the scones were super cold. They didn't spread too much and the flavor was fantastic!
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (I encourage you as always to weigh your flour rather than scoop it up with a measuring cup, for accuracy’s sake)
1/2 cup (100g) lavender sugar (mix 1 tsp dried culinary lavender with 1 cup of granulated sugar and let sit in an airtight container for at least a day before using. It will keep for quite some time, so if you find you like adding lavender to more tasty things, you can mix up a bigger batch of it and store in your pantry.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks and frozen for 20-30 minutes before using (it needs to be very cold!)
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest from one large lemon
1 heaping cup (190g) fresh blueberries (or frozen, but if you’re using frozen, do not thaw them before adding. I did not try this recipe with frozen berries, though I imagine it might be trickier to keep the blueberry color from bleeding into the dough when mixing them in.)
2 Tbsp coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking (or if you can’t find your jar of pretty sugar crystals, just sprinkle some of the lavender sugar on top)
1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Add the flour, lavender sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt to the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse 30 seconds or so to combine the dry ingredients and grind up the dried lavender a little bit. Add the frozen, cubed butter to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with some pea-sized bits of butter in it. (Alternatively, you can do this in a bowl with a pastry cutter or your hands, but remember, you need to keep the butter cold and your hands will warm it up much faster than a few pulses in a food processor.)
2. In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, lemon zest and vanilla together. Pour the liquid over the flour mixture and pulse just enough for the dough to start clumping together.
3. Dump the dough onto a floured surface (if the dough isn’t forming a ball, drizzle a little bit of extra cream on the dry spots to help bring the dough together. Gently work the blueberries into the dough (without letting them all roll away from you onto the table). Press into a circle about 8 inches across and two inches high. Cut the dough into 8 equal wedges with a very sharp knife.
4. Spread the 8 scones with at least two inches between each scone on the baking sheet. If you alternate which direction the points and fat ends of the scones are facing, even better for keeping them from spreading into each other while baking.
5. For extra insurance, place the sheet pan of scones into your freezer for 20-30 minutes until cold and firm to the touch.
6. When ready to bake, remove them from the freezer. Top the scones a sprinkle of the coarse sugar or extra lavender sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light brown and cooked through.