Buttermilk Scones — Tartine Has Done It Again

I love a good scone. More than a muffin these days. Even a really good muffin, like this one, which I made last weekend. Such a good recipe. If you haven’t tried that one yet, add it to your to-make list.

Back to the scones. You might recall my obsession with Tartine? Its quiche, bread pudding and croque monsieur in particular. Oh its croque monsieur! Why is there no recipe for it in either of my Tartine cookbooks? Hmm, perhaps it’s best that I don’t know how to make that one anyway.

OK really, back to the scones. Buttery. Flaky. Crispy on top. Not too sweet. Lemony. Blueberry-y. Delicious. When you live hundreds of miles from Tartine, this recipe’s a good one to know.

And if you like this recipe, you’ll likely like this one and this one, too. I heart Tartine. So very much.

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
Adapted from Tartine
Yield=12

Notes:

  • Tartine’s recipe calls for Zante currants, which should be plumped in warm water for 10 minutes, then drained.
  • I usually make a half recipe — 12 scones is a lot, and the dough gets unwieldy. If you can handle it, however, by all means go for it. I have frozen the raw scone dough, too, and baked the scones after thawing the dough overnight in the fridge. Worked beautifully.

4 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. lemon zest, grated
1 cup + 1 T. unsalted butter, very cold
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 cups blueberries

Topping
3 T. butter
sugar for sprinkling such as demerara or turbinado (regular granulated is fine, too)

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add sugar, salt and lemon zest and stir to combine. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and scatter the cubes over the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender or the back of a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. When you are finished, the butter should be dispersed throughout the flour in pea-sized lumps (or bigger… mine always are).

3. Add the buttermilk all at once along with the blueberries and mix gently with a wooden spoon until the dough holds together. If the mixture seems dry, add a little bit more buttermilk.

4. Dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. If you’ve made the whole recipe, divide the dough into two even portions. Using your hands, pat each portion into a circular disk about 1 1/2 inches thick. (Or, if you’ve made the whole recipe and want to follow Tartine’s instructions, pat the dough into a rectangle about 18 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 1 1/2 inches thick). Brush the top with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut each disk into 6 wedges (or 12 if you’ve made the rectangle).

5. Transfer the triangles to baking sheet. Bake until the tops of the scones are lightly browned, about 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Comments

  1. says

    Ali, I made these last night with cherries (the only fresh berries/fruit I had) and they were great. I froze half the batch and can’t wait to have them ready for a breakfast at some point. Thanks!

  2. Hannah says

    This looks wonderful! LOVE THIS! Thanks for the great recipes that include blueberries! We have two bushes and can’t wait to get picking!!

  3. alice foster says

    could you please send me the 1/2 recipe measurements for the blueberry scones. having a problem figuring them out. thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hi Alice,

      I know, a half recipe is tricky. This is the best I can do. Here you go:

      2 3/8 cup all-purpose flour (3/8 cup = 6 tablespoons)
      1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
      3/8 tsp. baking soda (a scant 1/2 teaspoon)
      1/4 cup sugar
      1/2 tsp. salt (a heaping half teaspoon)
      1/2 tsp. lemon zest, grated
      1/2 cup + 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, very cold
      3/4 cup buttermilk
      1 cup blueberries

      Topping
      1.5 T. butter
      sugar for sprinkling such as demerara or turbinado (regular granulated is fine, too)

    • says

      Annetta — I’m sure you could — I’ve never tried, but I think frozen blueberries almost always can be substituted for fresh in baked goods. I would not thaw them before using them. Report back if you have success!

  4. Annetta says

    Ok. I made theses this morning and they didn’t turn out exactly right. They did taste good but the texture wasn’t right. I think when using frozen blueberries you should not mix the buttermilk and berries at the same time. The frozen berries freeze up the buttermilk and make your dough to dry. I had to add more buttermilk which made it too soft in the end.

    • says

      Hi Annetta — I’m sorry to hear that the frozen blueberries didn’t work out. Thanks for reporting back on this — I wouldn’t have thought about the coldness of the berries affecting the buttermilk, but that makes sense.

  5. rachel says

    Hi there, i’m wondering, would it still be okay if i refrigerated the dough and put it away for tomorrow morning (St. Patty’s Day!!!) to bake? would they stay fresh if i did make them today and saved them for tomorrow?
    also, i think i’m just going to keep them in the shape of a disk like they do in Dub-town (hehe). would that be possible, and if so, should I make any baking changes?

    • says

      Rachel — Definitely refrigerate the dough and save it to bake fresh for tomorrow morning. Scones taste OK the second day, but they definitely dry out a bit. They taste so much better freshly baked. If you have to bake them a day ahead, they liven up a bit if you slice them and toast them.

      The disc shape sounds nice — you shouldn’t have to make any baking changes. Happy St. Patty’s Day!!

  6. Annette Holbrook says

    I have made these twice now to rave reviews. (From everyone other than my husband, who doesn’t like scones at all… How? I have no idea!) One gentleman co-worker with whom I shared my goodies said he hadn’t had a good scone since he came home from England, years ago. It made me feel quite accomplished. Thanks for sharing such a special recipe with us! I’ll be making it over and over again…

    • says

      Annette, thanks so much for writing in with this nice comment. It’s always nice to hear others share their enthusiasm for certain recipes. And, I think these scones must be modeled after traditional British scones, because my father, also from England but a resident of the US for 40 years now, said literally nearly the same thing when he came to visit last weekend and made him the currant variation of this recipe. Anyway, British or not, I love them and so glad you do too!

  7. Ellen says

    I just made these. I made a half batch. The taste and texture were good. One of my issues was having to halve all the ingredients. That was a bit of a pain. I figured out the measurements easily but I would have rather made a whole batch. having to half 3/4 of a teaspoon? Anyway I did it. Another issue was how wet my dough was. I followed the recipe to the T and i had to add flour and chill the dough in the freezer for a half hour. It was too wet otherwise even after adding the flour. I’m sorry, it killed my desire to ever make these again. Sorry :-(

  8. Annette Holbrook says

    My daughter and I just returned home from blueberry picking and we’re getting ready to make the 6th or 7th batch. :) We LOVE these scones. (It makes me not want to try other recipes… lol) This time, we will make the whole recipe, but put half in the freezer. When we return from vacation, I know we’ll have a yummy treat on our first morning back. Thanks again for an AMAZING recipe. —To Ellen ^ I would strongly suggest trying this recipe again, using the whole recipe. Bring the extras to neighbors, a pastor, co-workers, friends, whomever…. My dough is wet when I make it too, it doesn’t affect the outcome. Best Wishes!

    • says

      Annette — I am so happy to hear this. It’s one of my favorites as well. I love a scone in the morning — not too sweet, but still a “sweet” in spirit — and summer berries are just the best addition. Thank you for the encouragement to Ellen as well.

  9. Kelsie says

    @Annetta I made these this morning with frozen blueberries, but as per your experience, I added all the buttermilk in before mixing in the frozen blueberries. They are delicious!! :) I did have to knead the dough a bit on the counter to get them to mix in, but it was fine otherwise and baked the same

    Wonderful recipe! thanks for sharing!! :)

  10. Kelsie says

    Made these again today only, with a few changes, since it’s valentine’s day and Mr. loves nutella :)
    replaced the blueberries with chopped strawberries, omitted the lemon zest. after mixing, rolled dough out to approx 19 x 6 x 1/2″ and smeared nutella all over it then rolled it up. smushed it to about 1.5″ thick and cut into 12 triangles. baked as usual. Very tasty! I prefer the blueberry, but these are wonderful too. Not quite as flaky and crumbly because I worked the dough so much more, but still delish!!

    • says

      Kelsie — Thanks so much for writing in with this fun and festive variation! Definitely more fitting for Valentine’s Day despite not being as flaky. I LOVE nutella, especially with strawberries. I have a feeling the kiddos might like this a lot. Fun. Thanks so much!

  11. Jill says

    AMAZING!!!! I’ve made these scones twice already and getting set to make them for a third time. The entire family loves them. They looks so professional, like I’m a real baker. Great for a housewarming gift…if you can stand giving some away.

  12. Crystal says

    Hey, When I mix the blueberries, they always get smushed :( do you have any tips to prevent this from happening? Thanks!

    • says

      Crystal, it definitely is tricky to fold berries into scone dough versus cake or muffin batter. There isn’t really a trick except practice and also being gentle and patient. One thing I always do when I fold berries into muffin batter is to reserve a little bit of the flour mixture to toss with the blueberries before folding them in. Does that make sense? You could try it. It might protect the berries a little bit, but I can’t guarantee it. Hope that helps somewhat.

  13. Sheri says

    I have been looking for a good scone recipe and this one looks fantastic. Will have to try making them this weekend.

  14. Jo says

    Made these today for the first time. I will certainly make them again; they were delicious and have just the right amount of sugar. My only problem is they spread out and flattened more than I expected. When they seemed a little dry, I added more water (since I used powdered buttermilk that is always in my pantry). Next time I will mix them more before adjusting the liquid.

    • says

      Wonderful to hear this Jo! Sorry to hear about the spreading, but I think your instincts were right re adding more water — I always add a little more buttermilk if the mixture seems dry. Buttermilk is thicker than water, so that could make a difference, but flour behaves differently depending on the time of year so small adjustments such as the one you made do make sense. But, I am happy to hear you will adjust differently next time based on this experience. I am sure they will turn out better next time!

  15. Liz says

    When I baked these at 400, they were burning from the bottom(I had the rack in the middle of the oven). I moved them mid-baking session up one level and also lowered the temp a bit- have you heard of this occurring? I do not bake much and wondered what I could have done wrong.

    Thanks!

    • says

      Oh no! You know, every oven is different, and it’s possible that yours just runs a little hotter, so even though it says 400, it might be 25 or 50 degrees off. I would suggest just lowering the temperature by 50 degrees next time around and using your best judgement re baking time. Also, what kind of pan were you using to bake them on — certain materials conduct heat differently, and the pan could have made a difference.

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