These lemon scones come together in 10 minutes, and while they’re baking you can make this decadent strawberry vanilla jam. Now THIS is how you host brunch without waking up at 6am!
If you’ve ever hosted brunch, you know how stressful it can be. So many dishes to plan, and so little time after you wake up before your guests arrive. I like to keep a few recipes in my arsenal that I know are crowd favorites yet they don’t require much active time. These lemon scones are adapted from a famous bakery in San Francisco, Tartine Bakery. They’re well known for lines out the door and down the street. One of their signature items is Buttermilk Scones. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly and streamlined their directions for Bake Like A Champ readers, so you are only 25 minutes away from warm lemon scones coming out of the oven. And because scones pair so well with jam, I’m sharing my go-to recipe for that as well. The tartness of the scones will blend perfectly with my warm vanilla-scented strawberry jam.
Lemon Scones Recipe Tips
Buttermilk will make your scones taste the best, but if you need to make these at the last minute, there are some substitutions available. For each cup of buttermilk, you can use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup (for this recipe you’d use 3/4 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 3/4 cup milk). Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. You can also use 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk.
Ensure your butter is very cold. This enables the scones’ flaky texture. This is not a place for room temperature butter!
There is no need for a stand or hand mixer here, in fact it’s better if you mix this by hand. You want to work the dough as little as possible to avoid over-incorporating ingredients.
Strawberry Vanilla Jam Recipe Tips
This jam doesn’t require pectin. It does include lemon juice, which when combined with sugar, is a natural thickening agent. Also, since we’re making a small batch, the fruit will cook down quick enough to thicken to a jam consistency. If you like a stronger “set” with your jam, feel free to add pectin.
Lemon Scones and Strawberry Vanilla Jam Recipe
Yield: 12 2-inch scones and 8 oz jam
For the scones:
2 ¼ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tablespoon baking powder
¼ + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
½ + 1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold and chopped into ½-inch pieces
¾ cup buttermilk, very cold
Zest of one lemon
For the jam:
1 quart strawberries, stemmed and quartered
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Juice from half of a lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
Make the scones:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine dry ingredients and lemon zest in a large bowl.
- Add the cold butter chunks, and with your fingertips, mash up the butter into the flour mixture until it’s the size of peas and oat flakes.
- Add the buttermilk and mix it in with your [already messy] hands. If you prefer to use a spatula, feel free to do so. Gently mix with your fingers until most of the mixture is moistened.
- Dump the craggly mixture onto your counter. Press it together with your hands until it just holds together (this should take under 1 minute as you don’t want to overwork the dough). Pat into a disk about 1 ½ inches thick.
- Cut out scones with a biscuit cutter or glass. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 14 minutes or until the bottoms of the scones are very light brown.
Make the jam:
- Combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan on the stove. Turn the heat up to medium high.
- Boil the strawberry mixture until the strawberries break down and the sauce thickens. Stir every few minutes and break up the strawberries with a wooden spoon.
- After about 15 minutes or when the jam reaches your desired thickness, take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour into a jar, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.