With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Blueberry Scones with Orange (or Lemon) Glaze

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Blueberry Scones with Orange (or Lemon) Glaze

It isn't too far off that it will be blueberry season in our neck of the woods and I do love those big, sweet, deep purple berries. I don't think I have met a blueberry recipe I haven't loved. So, I am using up the remains of the berries from last year to make these scones, loaded with blueberries and glistening with a sweet orange glaze. They make morning a happy time.

I have made these scones many times usually with a lemon glaze but if my fruit bin has only oranges, that is what I go with. No extra trip to the grocery store because the orange is wonderful too just a little less tangy. You may even prefer the orange over the lemon for a change.

We are pretty lucky to live near the "Blueberry Capital of the World." Hammonton is a town in Atlantic County, New Jersey. It is located directly between Philadelphia and the resort town of Atlantic City. 80 percent of New Jersey's blueberries come from Atlantic County's 56 farms, which are all located in or directly around Hammonton.

New Jersey generates its $79.4 million blueberry harvest on just 8,800 acres. All Hammonton blueberry farmers will answer that the area is such a prime location to grow blueberries because of the soil, the weather and the geographic location. Its soils are more fine, sandy and acidic allowing the berries to thrive. The blueberry picking and packing season usually begins around mid June and ends in early August. source

From the time our girls were little tykes, we rode a tractor into the fields to fill to the brim, the buckets with ropes around our necks, with juicy blueberries. The ones we didn't eat right away went into the freezer to use throughout the year. And to make treats like this.

Don't be intimidated because scones aren't hard to make. They do not require a mixer. In fact, the less you stir and handle the mixture the more tender the final product. Use cold butter and a light hand and they will turn out just right.

The scone itself has very little sugar. Here they are just out of the oven with the juicy blueberries beginning to bubble through.

What takes them over-the-top good is the sweet glaze from fresh oranges (or lemons).

 Zest the oranges and then squeeze the juice.

 The juice and zest is mixed with a little butter and confectioners' sugar.

Spoon or brush on the glaze and try hard not to lick the drips ;)

I like to brush on the glaze several times and allow it to seep through all the nooks and crannies.

The recipe makes eight scones and should you have leftovers, place between waxed paper, into an air-tight freezer bag or container and freeze. They take little time to thaw and are fresh-made whenever you are in the mood.

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

yields 8 scones

Blueberry Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup fresh blueberries
Orange (or Lemon Glaze): (see note below)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 ornage or lemon, zest finely grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough.

Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches.  Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

Technically you should make this simple lemon glaze in a double boiler (i.e. over a pot of simmering water with a heatproof bowl set on top) but it's even simpler to zap it in the microwave. Mix the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and butter. Nuke it for 30 seconds on high. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  • I have pressed the dough into a rectangle as described above and I have also pressed it into a circle disk and cut into triangles. Both ways work equally well. You will have to dip the cutting knife into flour each time to get a clean cut as the dough is sticky.
  • I have substituted whole milk for the heavy cream to lighten the calories. I think the scones turn out very well doing this. The scones will be richer if you use the heavy cream.
  • The recipe makes a lot of glaze. You could easily make just half to glaze each scone but if you like more, brush on the glaze several times to really coat each one. 

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NanaDiana said...

Those look absolutely delicious, Lorraine. I just made some cranberry/walnut scones and used some orange zest in them and finished with an orange glaze. They were so good. I do like the lemon glaze on blueberries but I bet the orange glaze was good, too.

I had no idea that there were blueberry farms like that in your area. How great is that! We get ours from the UP of Michigan. They are some of the best blueberries I have ever had.

When I was a kid we had fields of wild blueberries which have a much stronger flavor than the ones farmers grow. They were SOOOO good but I haven't had them in years. xo Diana

Susan said...

Oh, Lorraine, those look divine. Truly, you are a splendid baker and cook. Hugs. Susan


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