I’m always interested in trying out new flavors that you don’t often see. A lot of the desserts out there are classic flavors featuring either chocolate or caramel or fruit. You don’t often see many baked goods featuring Earl Grey, and so when I saw that Sara of Buttermilk Pantry had a recipe for Earl Grey Scones, I was super interested. I tend to keep Earl Grey on hand, mainly for drinking of course, and so the idea of infusing it into a scone sounded delicious. I’d also been on a bit of a sweet binge and wanted to pad my baking recipe repertoire with goods a little less decadent. Now, I’d only just become a scone believer- thanks to Claire Saffitz’s recipe for Blueberry Cream Scones, so i wanted to see what other flavors were out there.
After watching the video, I clicked the link that took me to Sara’s blog which gave me a little more insight into the recipe. See, blogs are still cool, folks. In that, Sara’s pretty explicit about not subbing creme fraiche for sour cream, though later on she says that it could work in a pinch. I’d seen creme fraiche in the stores here before, though they didn’t have any when I checked that week. I decided to go with a swap, following Sara’s instructions, and mixed the sour cream together with heavy cream and an egg. In a separate bowl, I whisked together the cake flour, AP flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. I only had a small amount of cake flour left, so I did that little hack of removing some AP flour and adding in cornstarch which worked out fine. Next came the Earl grey tea bags, about three of them, which gave the dry mix a nice speckled look. Then, in the style of pie crust, I worked the butter into the dry until about the size of small peas. The liquid then gets mixed in until shaggy before it’s turned out onto a floured worksurface. The dough eventually came together nicely after some folds with minimal sticking. I’d actually forgotten to do the little stacking technique as noted in the video, however it turned out just fine. After being shaped and trimmed, I cut up the dough into six small pieces and placed them on a plate to freeze for a half hour. Meanwhile, I mixed up the glaze which was basically just honey, cream and water. Once the oven was up to temperature, I placed the scones on a baking sheet and brushed them with the glaze. They then bake for about 20 mins before letting them cool completely. As a little personal challenge, I decided to whip up cream by hand which took less time than I thought, but proved to be a bit of an arm workout. I always find it hard to whip up a small amount of cream in a mixer, so if you’re bored of tracking the COVID numbers,, why not?
I was really impressed with the flavor of these. The Earl grey really comes through nicely without overpowering. I used three bags, and honestly could have even used a fourth for a more pronounced flavor. I served these with a smear of apricot jam and our homemade whipped cream which proved to be a delicious and light combo. The earl grey and whipped cream together have it eating a bit like milk tea- with a few sips transporting me to a boba shop. My scones weren’t quite as flat or browned as Sara’s, but I didn’t see that as much of an issue. The inside was moist and almost cakey- a far cry from some of the drier and tough scones that you typically find in bakeries, so getting that deep golden brown without drying it out seems a little risky. I also don’t know if I’d trim them again, as you end up with a good amount of scraps. Sara recommends to still bake them off as crumbles, but I’d minimize the cutting so you end up with a bigger scone. The finished ones are on the small size, so I’d probably make a batch and a half, and cut them a little larger. Still, they made for a great mid-morning snack and were a nice welcomed break from everything else I’d been making. Next time I’ll have to enjoy them with an actual cup of earl grey and some different kinds of jam- to each their own.
Full Recipe | Method from Buttermilk Pantry