Flaky Cream Cheese Scones

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About
Oven Temperature 400°F/200°C
Baking Time 20 to 25 minutes

Because cream cheese pie crust is my number one pie crust, I thought it would also make a great scone. The result of my experiments is a scone that is softer, moister, and mellower than the classic scone. Be sure to try the scone topper variation that follows: I find the best part of the scone to be the top, so I created a variation to be bottomless!

Ingredients

VOLUME WEIGHT
unsalted butter, cold 8 tablespoons (1 stick) 4 ounces 113 grams
cream cheese, cold ½ cup 4.5 ounces 128 grams
heavy cream, cold ¾ cup (177 ml) 6.1 ounces 174 grams
Gold Medal bread flour (or half other brand bread flour/half unbleached all-purpose flour) 2⅓ cups (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) 10.6 ounces 300 grams
sugar 3 tablespoons 1.3 ounces 37 grams
baking powder (use only an aluminum free variety) 1 tablespoon 0.5 ounce 13.5 grams
fine sea salt teaspoon . 2.2 grams
lemon zest, finely grated 1 tablespoon, loosely packed . 6 grams
dried blueberries, or dried cranberries (cut in half) ½ cup 2.6 ounces 74 grams
honey 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20 ml) 1 ounce 28 grams

Special Equipment

One 9 inch round cake pan | A baking sheet lined with parchment or lightly coated with baking spray with flour

Method

Preheat the Oven

Thirty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Make the Dough

Cut the butter into ½ to ¾ inch cubes and the cream cheese into ¾ inch cubes. Cover each separately with plastic wrap and return them to the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Into a mixing bowl, pour the cream and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (Chill a handheld mixer’s beaters alongside the bowl.)

Whip the cream just until soft peaks form when the beater is lifted. Place it in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Add the cream cheese and cut it into the flour mixture, using a pastry blender or two knives, until the cream cheese is no larger than small peas. Add the butter and, with a fork, toss to coat with the flour. Press the butter cubes between your fingers to form very thin flakes. Stir in the blueberries or cranberries. Make a well in the center. Place the whipped cream and the honey in the well and, with a silicone spatula, stir the flour mixture into the cream until all of it is moistened.

Lightly knead the dough in the bowl just until it holds together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Gently knead it a few times until it is a little stretchy and can be shaped into a smooth disc.

Line the cake pan with plastic wrap and press the dough evenly into it or shape the dough into a 9 by ¾ inch thick disc. Press in any loose blueberries. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Shape the Scones

Lift out the scone disc using the plastic wrap. Use a sharp knife to cut the disc into 8 even wedges. Place the wedges, 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet. For the highest rise, but slightly less flakiness, press lightly against the sides of the dough with your finger to seal them slightly, which causes the scones to puff a bit more.

Bake the Scones

Bake for 10 minutes. For even baking, rotate the sheet halfway around. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. (An instant-read thermometer should read 205° to 212°F/96° to 100°C.)

Cool the Scones

Place a linen or loose-weave towel on a large wire rack. Set the baking sheet on another wire rack. Use a pancake turner to transfer the scones to the towel. Fold the towel over loosely and let the scones cool until warm or room temperature.

Store

Airtight: room temperature, 2 days; frozen, 3 months.

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