Friday, January 8, 2010

Honey & Lemon Oat Scones . . .

Walking past the pristine and pricey merchandise, their aroma was evident well before they were actually in view. Scenting the air with the warmth of toasted nuts, melting chocolate, fresh berries, and citrus--they could only be scones. Casually displayed and generously portioned, Britt's cafeteria produced dozens of them day in and day out. Office workers and attorneys, parking attendants and bankers alike beat a weekday-morning path to procure them. Intent and determined, Britt's customers bore the expression of pilgrims on a crusade--they weren't fooling around. Once having obtained the object of affection, they'd scurry back out of the big glass doors, each one securely clutching a small paper bag, an expression of modest accomplishment on every face.

That's what I thought of this morning as I was trying to remember when I'd tasted my very first scone. I was in my twenties, and working for a publishing company in downtown Detroit. Britt's was a small restaurant of sorts, tucked oddly into the far corner of an upscale office supply store. It was a quick walk from my desk to the elevator, down eight floors, out the door of the historic Penobscot Building, then right around the corner.

Britt's scones were not necessarily traditional. Made from dough that was neither rolled nor cut, they were obviously prepared quickly, like drop biscuits, thus their irregular shape and often varying size. But, oh, were they good. Floury and soft within, crumbly and tender crisp on the outside. My favorite was the strawberry scone, plump with rosy chunks of fresh ripe berries throughout. If memory serves correctly, they also offered currant, chocolate chip, blueberry, and lemon poppy-seed. I must have tried them all.

No one was pleased when Britt's, after several years in that location, closed its doors for good. It was a shame in every way, but at least that unique little place left a firm and fond impression.

And so began my love affair with scones . . .

These particular scones don't fall into the fluffy and tender category. They're more along the lines of substantial and chewy. Definitely on the healthier end of the vast scone spectrum. (Recipe attribution info is included further down, under Recipe Full Disclosure!)

Honey & Lemon Oat Scones

(For a printable copy of this recipe, click here)

2 cups All Purpose flour (bleached or unbleached is fine)
1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats (I used quick)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, very cold, and cut into small chunks
2 tsp. fresh lemon zest

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 cup honey (I used wildflower honey)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
2 tsp. sanding, or granulated, sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Add in the lemon zest and stir it in with a fork.

Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter chunks well, until there are no large pieces left.
In a small bowl, whisk together the beaten egg, honey, buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla.

Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Pour the liquid mixture into the well, and mix together with a spoon just enough to evenly moisten the dry ingredients and form a soft dough.

With floured hands, gather the dough into a clump and dump it onto a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a circle roughly 9" in circumference.

Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, cut the pieces into 12 triangles, like you would a pie.

Place each piece about an inch apart on the lined cookie sheet. Melt the 1 Tbsp. of butter, and brush some of that on the top of each piece. Sprinkle a pinch of sanding sugar, or granulated sugar, on top of each buttered piece of dough.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just lightly browned on the top and bottom. They bake quickly, so check on them early.

Serve warm or cold, with honey, of course!

Recipe full disclosure!
I adapted this recipe from this link, at The Herb
It called for lemon verbena leaves, which I have never even seen let alone used, so I left those out. It also called for the use of more lemon zest and juice than I thought expedient. Yogurt was included but I had none on hand so I decided to substitute buttermilk. I added in the part about brushing melted butter and sprinkling sugar on the top of the scones before baking. I rewrote the directions, too.

P. S. If you liked this honey & lemon oat scone recipe, you might also like the recipes in these past posts:

Apple Oat Scones

Cream Scones with Sweet Dried Cherries

Strawberry Scones

(If you'd like to comment on this post or to read any existing comments, just click on the purple COMMENTS below!)


Snooky doodle said...

oh these look so good. Honey and lemon are great! :)

Marie said...

These look fabulous Jane, and of course, these are honey and lemon days!

Kate at Serendipity said...

Jane, these look awesome. I love scones.I love lemon. I love oats. I love honey. oh, no. I'm in trouble here. I'm supposed to be on a diet...

Anonymous said...

these look delicious, especially with the honey dipping. if i hadn't just made maple oat date scones two days ago, i'd be on these quick! i'll have to ferret the recipe away somewhere to make soon -- thanks.



Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
Just made some and they are delicious.
I did made some changes (Mine are more: Honey & Orange Oat Cranberry Scones) do to not having all the exact ingredients on hand but they turned out great anyways
(used margarine..i know, i know..., rice milk with 1 tsp of vinegar,fresh orange peel and orange extract, added cranberries)
Found your blog trough My Casa Bella Blog

~~louise~~ said...

I was on such a scones kick a few week back, I just couldn't resist. I am so looking forward to making my own again and I just may begin with this recipe. Heavenly! I adore your personal adjustments, Jane.

Thank you so much for sharing...

So funny word verification immerri

bake in paris said...

This oat and honey scones are simply delicious! I have been planning to bake scones for breakfast, this might be it! :-) Thanks for sharing!

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Jane said...

Hi Snooky -- Yeah, honey & lemon were made for each other!

Hi Marie, Thanks very much!

Hi Kate-- Supposed to be on a diet? You and me both, lady! ;)

Hi Squirrelbread, Maple oat date scones sound pretty doggone good too!

My First Bambina,
I am thrilled you tried them and liked them so much. They're definitely not a desserty kind of scone, so I am glad that you were able to appreciate them. Not everyone feels that way!

Hi Louise-- I kind of go through scone phases too. It's one of those things you occasionally just crave.

Hi Sawadee,
You're very welcome! Many thanks!

Warmly to all,

Marie said...

Jane, so glad you didn't mind me using your recipe and blogging about it! I really enjoyed these, and hopefully you have gained a few new readers in the process. What culinary school are you attending? I went to culinary school in Chester 8 years ago now. I really enjoyed it. We didn't do sugarcraft though. I'd have had to take the pastry chef course, and I had already gained my present employment by then.

Elie's Papel said...

they look soooo yummy!!! congrats of the nice food pics... that are usually hard to do... :)

Anonymous said...

My mom and I love to cook. We tried your recipe and we totally love the scones with honey. I enjoyed it, warm. I have to say, your recipe is really worth the try! I'll probably buy clover honey later and creamed clover honey, as well. We are planning to make our own recipe of honey desserts! Thanks for inspiring us!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane, as I was looking through your ingrediant list, I noticed that in your actual photos and instructions, you don't mention the oats or have any oats in the photos. Did you ground the oats up? Or leave them out? Rolled oats to me, are whole oats, not ground. Thanks!

Jane said...

Hi there Anonymous, it's Jane here responding to your question. The oats are indeed in the ingredient list. It says "1 and 1/2 cup rolled oats (I used quick)". I used them whole, not ground. Thanks for checking! Quick or old fashioned oats should work fine.

Jane said...

Hi again anonymous,
The 1 and 1/2 cups of whole, rolled (not ground) oats should be added at the same time as the flour and other dry ingredients. My apologies for any omission from the recipe.