No matter how much I love the rain or how well prepared I am for it, winters here in Eugene are always a doozy—especially by the end of them. In late fall, when we get those first dark, blustery days, I am giddy with excitement over the sweaters, boots, warm fires, and hot drinks that the weather inspires.
But by spring, I’m done with the damp and the dark and the cold. I’m ready for lasting sunlight and balmy breezes. Luckily, these scrumptious scones, filled with juicy bits of strawberry and tart lemon flavor, taste like sunshine in every bite. So even if spring gets off to a late start, you can enjoy a ray of sunshine in pastry form.
Scones taste best when eaten within a few hours of baking.
Makes 8 scones
For the scones:
1 cup diced strawberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into chunks
2/3 cup buttermilk
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the diced strawberries in a medium bowl and add about 1/2 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Put the remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest to the sugar in the large bowl. Using your hands, rub the zest and sugar together until the sugar is wet and lemon-colored and the mixture is fragrant. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the cold butter chunks to the bowl and, using either a pastry cutter or just your hands, blend the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. There can be chunks of butter remaining, but nothing bigger than a pea. Add the strawberries and stir gently with a mixing spoon or a rubber spatula. Add the buttermilk and stir gently until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it gently just until any remaining dry ingredients have been incorporated. If strawberries pop out, push them back in. Shape the dough into a circle about 3/4-inch thick. Cut the dough into eight equal wedges, then place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet so they are at least a 1/2-inch apart. Sprinkle the tops of the scones lightly with granulated sugar. Bake for 20 minutes until the scones have risen and are golden. Remove from the oven and allow the scones to cool completely before glazing.
To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and salt in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and milk, and whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones, allow the glaze to set for a few minutes, then serve.