Blueberry Lemon Scones

This past Christmas, my husband’s sister had the idea to surprise their parents with a trip to England.  For as long as I’ve known my dear father-in-law, he’s wanted to travel there, so it took little effort to consider cashing in our points, and settling in to plan.  It’s been several years since our first trip there, and it remains the only place where I’ve vacationed that I didn’t want to leave.  Although we barely saw London that trip, we did manage to cover about 750 miles driving through Devonshire, Wales, and the Cotswolds.  My husband’s white-knuckled grip never completely adjusted to the need to drive on the opposite side of the road, but we did find maneuvering the roundabouts hilarious after a time, rarely missing a turn off when one was called for.  Although it was equally terrifying to be the navigator on the trip at times, I was more likely to enjoy endless views of rolling green hills and quaint villages, each more picturesque than the last.

As much as we think of scones being breakfast fare here, we only had them once on our trip, and not for breakfast.  We happened into a small restaurant just before closing time in Harlech, Wales, after a day of sightseeing and castle exploration.  We had some tiny scones and other treats with the cream tea the staff was kind enough to serve even though they’d clearly finished for the day.  It was a perfect break considering we’d come from Conwy, in Northern Wales,  early that morning, and were headed to Milebrook House near Knighton on the English border, about 100 km away.  It’s funny to think about now, and I refer to it as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, but it wasn’t humorous at the time.

Hopefully, the trip I’m planning this time won’t be as hectic.  It should help to have a spry, natty octogenarian with us.

Blueberry Lemon Scones


2/3 c. buttermilk

1 lg. egg

3 c. flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

8 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 c. fresh blueberries

1/2 sugar

1 tsp. grated lemon zest


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Measure the buttermilk, then add the egg and beat well.
  3. In a large bowl, pour the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.  Whisk to mix well.
  4. Add the cold butter pieces and using your hands, “pinch” the butter through the dry mixture thoroughly until it’s grainy-looking.
  5. Add the blueberries, sugar, and lemon zest using a fork to lightly mix before pouring in the buttermilk mixture.  Toss lightly with the fork, working to dampen all of the dry ingredients without over mixing.
  6. Pour the dough onto a lightly floured counter and with your hands, gather it into a smooth mass.  Make a large ball, flatten it a bit, then divide into 8 pieces.
  7. Gently press each piece into a ball and set on a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet.
  8.  Bake for about 35 minutes or until richly brown.
  9. Brush with some butter and sprinkle each with sugar if desired.  Allow to cool about 20 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • This is a more solid dough for scones than what I’m used to working with.  The idea of making a ball of dough is a bit odd, but it works quite well.  I used fresh blueberries, and surprisingly, very few of them were smashed with the handling.  Frozen blueberries would work just fine as well.  Don’t thaw them out — just add them frozen.
  • I used Meyer lemons for this — they’re sweeter than regular lemons and I was lucky enough to have a few I’d been given.  It always helps to know someone with a lemon tree!
  • As much as fresh scones hot from the oven sound, let these sit — even longer than the 20 minutes I did.  They’re very light in texture and although very tasty, fairly delicate.
  • We tried some with the melted butter and sugar, and some without.  The added calories aren’t necessary at all.  They’re flavorful enough without either.
  • This recipe can be made with plain yogurt or powdered buttermilk as well if you don’t have fresh buttermilk.
  • Adapted from Biscuits and Scones by Elizabeth Alston
  • The blue plate is old.  The stamp on the back reads:  “Enoch Wood’s English Scenery, Woods Ware, Wood & Sons, England” and is circa 1917.  It’s transferware — pretty if you’re like me and collect blue English dishes, but not especially valuable.

20 thoughts on “Blueberry Lemon Scones

  1. I’m taking my parents to Ireland this summer – they are nearly octogenarians, but maybe not as spry as your father in law. Here’s to hoping both your trip and mine go well! BTW, since you do more baking than me, can you point me to any recipes where you use olive oil instead of butter? THX
    .-= Cooking with Michele´s last blog ..Sushi – Tuna 3 Ways =-.

    1. Hi Michele — I searched a bit through my recipes thinking I had a few but can’t find them now. Guess I should tag things better than I do! When I find something, I’ll let you know.

  2. scones? meh, i can take ’em or leave ’em…and usually leave ’em. these are enticing, though, but not as alluring as that plate–it’s stunning! meanwhile, any idea where can i find my own spry and natty octogenarian? 🙂

  3. OK, I’m going to have to throw in a curve: British flour is MUCH lower in moisture than American flour. So, although you thought your scones were stiff? Right: they’d be even stiffer over here. To give you an example: I routinely get about 3/4 of the volume of bread from a recipe, over here, as I do over there … and that’s because the flour is so dry.

    Also: “scone” rhymes with “gone,” in Scotland. “Scone” rhymes with “spoon” is a place, as in Scone Castle, where the Scottish Kings were crowned. “Scone” rhymes with “stone” is what the snooty people sound like, from down towards The Borders and beyond.
    .-= DaviMack´s last blog ..So, Captain Kirk – where is he now? =-.

    1. I LOVE all the pronunciations! I have a book on tea that some authority wrote and he mentions our scones are like stones because they’re heavy globs of dough. I’ve kept that image in mind and can say that I haven’t made a stone-like scone in a while. There have been a few hockey puck biscuits here and there though 🙂

    1. Thanks! It’s always fun to experiment with a new recipe — keeps me thinking and learning. I’m a lover of cobalt blue, so this photo is one of my favorites. I’m glad it’s had a positive effect on your “winter-tude.”

  4. THey look delicious. I have never made scones like this. It is a bit unusual making balls with the dough. I love the plate. Thanks for another great recipe.

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