From the Kitchen of The Pearl of Seneca Lake B & B
One of the most important things to remember is that scones are very forgiving. You can substitute different liquid that will alter the taste, but the scones will still be acceptable.
I sometimes use less butter than what is called for in the recipe. Depending on the season, I use both fresh and frozen fruit. I have also made the scones the day or night before and placed them in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the dough and bake later.
It is best to start with cold butter. Some people freeze the butter first. I always use King Arthur flour since it seems to be consistent, yet any flour would work.
It is necessary to cut the butter into the flour mixture (flour, baking powder, salt etc.), leaving chunks of butter that will be melted in the oven. I sometimes use my pastry cutter, and other times I use my food processor to blend the butter and flour. If you use the food processor, only pulse the butter/flour mixture a few times.
After the butter and flour are combined, I place the mixture into the freezer for a few minutes, firming up the butter particles or small chunks.
After taking the flour/butter mixture out of the freezer, I add the fruit or chips to the mixture, then the liquid and/or egg mixture. Mix well. Sometimes, the flour is dry and more liquid (sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, regular milk, cream or half & half) can be added. Try to limit the liquid. I then place the dough on a bread board or the counter, adding more flour as necessary, and either pat or roll the dough out to the desired thickness. Now using the pastry cutter, I cut the dough into strips and then cut the dough into triangles of various sizes. If the dough is too wet, just scoop or spoon drop the dough onto the prepared pan. I use Silpat or parchment paper on my cookie sheets. You can also just lightly brush milk or melted butter on the dough and then sprinkle with sugar.
I then place the dough and the cookie sheet into a freezer for 10+ minutes to make sure the butter is cold. Just before serving time, put the cookie sheet in a 375 deg oven for about 15-18 minutes. Relax … and enjoy!
Gluten Free Options: You can purchase any of the basic blends from a variety of sources.
I order my gluten free flour from Vitacost at a very reasonable discount, and substitute the gluten free flour mixture 1:1 in place of the all purpose flour. I make ahead and replace all purpose flour with Beth Hillson’s Self Rising Flour:
1 ¼ cup white rice flour
1 cup sweet white Sorghum flour
¾ cup amaranth flour
¾ cup cornstarch
¼ cup tapioca starch/flour
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 ½ tsp salt
Dairy free options: you can replace the dairy products with almond milk or other non-dairy options. Most lactose-free people can have butter.