Consider these the unlikely lovechild of a staunch, prudish scone and a freewheeling biscuit. These are scones for people like me, who would really rather have a biscuit over a scone any day of the week. They are buttery and perfect, with enough overlapping features of both a scone and a biscuit so as to satisfy lovers of either. As if you weren’t already salivating and wrapping yourself around my little finger at the mere prospect of such delights, the accompanying strawberry jam recipe is worth the click in and of itself. Sharp and tartly sweet with a nip of black pepper, there’s a reason why I didn’t halve the recipe to make a more reasonable quantity of jam compared to the number of scones. Feel free to add just a touch more pectin to the jam (or cook it longer) if you would like a thicker end product, but my preference is for a runnier jam that doesn’t smother the delicacy of these “scones”.
Flaky Scones w/ Quick Pickled Strawberry Jam
Scones taken directly from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (The Food Lab)
Jam adapted from Christina Tosi (Milk Bar Life)
Makes 6 scones and ~ 1 ½ cups of jam
1 ½ cups ripe strawberries, hulled
1 cup white sugar, divided
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp pectin
¼ tsp kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
½ cup buttermilk, cold
½ cup sour cream, cold
2 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
4 tbsp white sugar, divided
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into ¼-inch pats + 2 tbsp melted butter (for brushing)
Make the jam first as it will need some time to set in the fridge. Wash and hull all the strawberries, setting aside ½ cup for later. Place the remaining 1 cup strawberries in a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth. Strain the strawberry puree through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any larger particles or seeds. Place the pureed strawberries in a small saucepan along with ½ cup sugar, and both vinegars. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until hot to the touch. In a small bowl, combine the pectin with the remaining ½ cup sugar and whisk this into the hot strawberry puree. Bring the jam to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes to allow the pectin to hydrate fully.
While the jam cooks, quarter the remaining ½ cup strawberries. Stir these into the thickened jam along with the salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes, until the quartered strawberries have just softened. Let cool slightly before portioning into small jars and refrigerating until cold. Spread generously on scones (when ready) and refrigerate leftover jam for up to 2 weeks.
For the scones, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and adjust an oven rack to the middle shelf. Whisk together the buttermilk and sour cream in a small bowl. Set in the fridge until ready to use.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 2 tbsp sugar, and salt. Process until blended. Scatter the butter evenly over the flour mixture and pulse until a very coarse meal consistency is achieved. Alternatively, whisk together the dry ingredients and cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or 2 knives. If using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the cold buttermilk-sour cream and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead oh-so gently until it just comes together, adding a little more flour if needed. Seriously, be so gentle – use the most tender, arthritic touch possible.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12-inch square. Use a bench scraper or a large broad knife blade to fold the right 1/3 of the dough over the centre, then fold the left 1/3 of the dough over that, so you end up with a 4x12-inch rectangle. Fold the top 1/3 down over the centre, then the bottom 1/3 so that the dough is reduced to a 4-inch square. Press the square down and roll back out into a 12-inch square. Repeat the whole process of folding one more time. This helps create lovely flaky layers.
Roll the dough into a 12x4-inch rectangle, then cut the rectangle into 3 4-inch squares. Cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Brush the tops of the scones with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp sugar. Bake until golden-brown and risen, about 15 minutes, rotating the pan from front-to-back halfway through. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes prior to splitting, buttering, and jamming