Nothing like the perfect blueberry scone to dive into with a cup of coffee. These are moist & flaky with crispy edges and tender middles. Emphasis on the blueberries here: they pack a ton of fresh berries and are topped with blueberry glaze.
Lemon Blueberry Almond Scones
Whenever I come up with a recipe for something that’s so well known, I ask myself: does the internet really need this? A single web search tells me Ina & allrecipes are the go to for lemon blueberry scones, so really – why publish this?
First, these are almond blueberry scones. There’s no chunks of nut, and you wouldn’t know it was in there but the almond flour really makes a difference in keeping these flaky & tender (not a lot of gluten-development) and for me personally, I like that it adds some nutrition especially in the morning!
Second, I’m going to say it and I so rarely do… these are the best blueberry scones I’ve ever had. They are moist but crumbly, they are sweet enough to be a treat but not so that you wouldn’t want them for breakfast. But also, that blueberry glaze on top really hones in and emphasizes the blueberry aspect (which let’s be honest, is usually lost to the lemon!)
How to make the best blueberry scones, tips & tricks:
The butter, the butter, the butter: a lot like pie crust making, you want bits of butter (not too big – about pea-sized, use a pastry knife to get it there) in the dough that will melt in the oven and not a moment before. The cold butter melting in the oven is what creates those flaky layers. This means avoiding handling the dough as much as possible and keeping the dough cold until you’re ready to bake.
Folding: it’s a little harder to do when you have chunks of fruit in there but if you can, use your hands to flatten the dough, then fold it over itself a few times. This will lead to even more layers.
Liquid: you want just enough liquid to bring the dough together. Often the dough will look dry but don’t make the mistake of adding more heavy cream.
Bake them close together: scones, like biscuits, will rise taller in the oven if nestled closer together. These aren’t cookies, they don’t spread – they rise!
Ingredients to make Almond Blueberry Scones
Almond Flour: this comes from blanched almonds and is not the same as almond meal. Don’t substitute it!
Low-Protein all-purpose flour: White Lily is known to be the best flour for biscuits because it’s low-protein and very finely milled. For those reasons it’s perfect for scones too.
Butter: You can use any butter (not margarine) and it will work out great. I think a richer, European style butter works very well here.
Egg: In theory you could leave out the egg and use more heavy cream to make these but the scones will lean toward dry.
Heavy Cream: We don’t use too much heavy cream but the added fat helps create a really moist scone. You can use a lighter cream or even buttermilk or kefir instead but they’ll be a tad drier. The tang from the buttermilk/kefir would be nice though.
Lemon zest: this not only gives the scone that signature lemon/blueberry flavor but it adds sweetness (this recipe is low on sugar). You can substitute with orange if you like.
Sugar: Granulated, and not so much but don’t omit it as it contributes to moisture and structure.
Blueberries: I definitely prefer fresh blueberries for scones. Often the packaged frozen berries have lots of ice stuck to them which adds too much water to the scones. Thawing them to remove the ice/water will lead to soft berries that are impossible to handle once they are in the dough. Use fresh!
Edible Lavender: absolutely not required for this recipe but if you get your hands on some fresh herbs, adding them to the dough adds a little something to the flavor.
Recipe for Small Batch Blueberry Scones
This recipe is easily halved to make a small batch of blueberry scones: ½ cup almond flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, as much zest as you like, 6 TB or 84g butter, 1 egg yolk (to avoid having to halve an egg), 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 3 oz blueberries. You’ll only make one of the disks when shaping and you’ll have either 4 medium sized scones or 8 minis. Everything else is the same.
Make Ahead Blueberry Scones
I always freeze my scones before I bake them: this ensures that the butter is completely cold before the dough goes into the oven so that it melts (in those bigger bits you’ll leave in the dough) in the oven as the rest of the scone bakes. This is what creates those flaky layers.
Which is to say that these absolutely can be made ahead of time. Instead of freezing them on a cookie sheet set the dough in an air-tight container (you can use parchment paper to separate them if you are stacking) and freeze until the moment you want to bake. Everything is the same!
Zest of one large lemonor two small, or more if you like
3/4cupsbutter1 1/2 stick
1/3 cupheavy creamplus an additional 1-2 tablespoons as needed
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
6ozpackage blueberriesfresh is best
1tablespoonfresh edible lavenderif desired
Blueberry Glaze Ingredients
1 ¼cuporganic powdered sugar
2-4tablespoonsblueberry juicesqueezed from blueberries
Squeeze of lemon juiceif desired
Grease and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the butter into cubes and set it in the freezer.
Add the zest and sugar to a large bowl and rub it together with your fingers to release its oils.
Add the flours, baking powder and salt to the bowl and whisk them together with the sugar.
Whisk the heavy cream, egg and vanilla in a small bowl with a fork, set aside for a moment.
Using a pastry knife, cut the butter into the flour until you have pea-sized bits of butter.
Add the blueberries and with your fingers, gently mix them in (avoid pressing any less you burst them).
Add the wet ingredients and with a rubber spatula stir the dough until it’s almost coming together. If your egg was a bit small you might need the additional tablespoon or two of heavy cream to bring it together. Using your hands, shape it into a ball.
Onto a floured surface, halve the dough and shape it into two smaller disks about 1 ½ inch thick - flattening the top slightly. Cut the circles into fourths, and then eighths so that you have 8 small triangles from both circles (so 16).
Alternatively shape it into a long rectangle (12 x 8") and slice it into 8 squares.
Set the scones on the cookie sheet, just a bit apart. The closeness helps them rise higher.
Set the pan in the freezer and let the scones freeze for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Brush the scones with heavy cream and bake them for 12-15 minutes, until the bottoms are just golden.
Once they are cool, whisk the glaze ingredients together and spoon it onto the scones.