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do your job

Recipe: blueberry scones

Right now, part of my work involves getting up early and hiking to alpine basins to assess the state of the wildflowers. You don’t always hit pay dirt, but I like that it gets me outside into the backcountry and that I’m not sitting on my bum all day. And in summer, you’re almost always guaranteed to be greeted by many familiar friends in the high country. I saw several favorites up high in marshy alpine meadows.


mountain bluebells

magenta paintbrush



I paid the price for those flowers too… in blood, so to speak. I wake up each morning with new mosquito bites despite my efforts to don pants and long-sleeves when I’m hiking and photographing. I have two requests for enterprising individuals: 1) please make a sunblock that I can take in pill form and 2) please make a mosquito repellant that I can take in pill form. I would pay good money for those things. And some mornings I want to see things a little faster than the pace of a hike, or even a trail run.

mountain biking makes it harder for the mosquitoes to get you

and then you ride to the local coffeehouse and wait in line with a random cute dog



Another part of my job is knowing when certain slopes or basins are reaching peak bloom and what time of day or which conditions are ideal for the images I want to capture. It starts to feel a little frenetic if you cover a wide area, especially if it takes half the day to reach some of these places. And by evening, when the mosquitoes are in their swarming frenzies, my mind often wanders to questions like, “Why haven’t more creatures evolved to hunt and eat mosquitoes?” Why, indeed.

tall larkspur

iphone behind the scenes (courtesy of jeremy)



Jobs have been on my mind lately because I recently sent a package of baked goods to my friend, Jamie, to thank her for the beautiful cutting boards she made. I sent it USPS priority and they said it was delivered two days later – except she never received it. She inquired after the package and with a little digging, I think the USPS realized that THEY SOMEHOW LIED ABOUT THE DELIVERY because they found the package and gave it to her 11 days after it was supposed to have been delivered. WTH?! More like USPOS. Of course, the baked goods were dead on arrival, because they were blueberry scones made with fresh organic blueberries. Smooth move, USPS. At least I had sense enough to send the second package via UPS (and those guys wear cute brown shorts). So let’s make some blueberry scones and have sense enough not to entrust them to the US Postal Service EVER AGAIN.

you’ll need: blueberries, flour, butter, lemon, eggs, sanding sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cream, and vanilla

whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together

cut the butter into the flour

grate lemon zest into the dry mixture



Apparently, these scones are supposed to be like the ones they sell at Starbucks. I don’t actually know what they sell at Starbucks because 1) I don’t drink coffee and 2) we have far too many awesome and independent coffee houses in Boulder. That said, I love to make scones because they are so quick to throw together! But I’ve never made them with fresh berries before.

whisk the cream into the egg and vanilla

combine the wet and dry ingredients

fold in the blueberries



The important thing is to avoid manhandling the dough and the berries. Work the dough too much and your scones will not achieve that nice tender crumb. Be gentle with the blueberries or else they will get squashed and turn parts of the scone dough soggy. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface and make two flattened rounds. Cut each round into eighths or however you want the shape to be. I tend to prefer triangular scones, myself. Brush each scone with egg wash and sprinkle with the sanding sugar.

slice the dough rounds

eighths are nice little pie shapes

egg wash



Scones have a tendency to spread a little, so give them space on the baking sheet. I’d also recommend lining your baking sheet with parchment paper because blueberries ooze juice during the baking process and this gets burned onto the baking sheet. Check that the tops and bottoms are golden before taking the scones out of the oven. Let them cool on a cooling rack or else the residual heat from the baking sheet might burn the bottoms.

time for baking

golden and gorgeous



These scones make for a nice breakfast, snack, tea, or even dessert. And there is no better time to make them than when blueberries are in season and at their sweetest. Jeremy loved them and I had to instruct him not to sample too many as I intended them for Jamie. Such a shame the USPS had to botch the gift.

a nice little snackity snack



Blueberry Scones
[print recipe]
based on this recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsps sugar
2 tsps baking powder (1 tsp @8500 ft.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 lemon, zest of
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 pt. blueberries, fresh
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsps sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F. Sift (I just whisked) the flour, 6 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Mix in the lemon zest. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the egg, cream, and vanilla extract together until blended. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold the blueberries into the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and form two large rounds of dough about 7 inches in diameter each. Cut each disk of dough into eighths (pie slices). Place the scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet at least an inch apart. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash (the beaten egg) and then sprinkle sanding sugar on top. Bake for 17 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack. Makes 16.


more goodness from the use real butter archives

cream scones blueberry hand pies blueberry (raspberry) streusel bars with lemon-cream filling friands

24 nibbles at “do your job”

  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    These look like the perfect scone, and with all the blueberries we have this is great for the season! Lovely recipe!

  2. Kristin says:

    Mmmm…sitting here eating my blueberries with my Greek yogurt & kind of wishing I had scones instead! I have been asking for sunscreen in a pill form for YEARS. Imagine how much money that company would make. And I never even thought of a mosquito repellant in pill form. Genius!

  3. Flavia says:

    I always love reading your posts, Jen. These look wonderful and I always enjoy your photographs.

  4. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    These look perfect for a lazy Sunday morning…

    I never trust the USPO anymore, ever…

  5. Justine says:

    Mini scones always taste better to me than large scones. Maybe because they’re such a cute, tiny treat?

    My local post office has been marking packages as delivered when they’re at the sort center instead of letting the mail carriers scan them as delivered when they’re actually delivered. My postman says the packages are marked prematurely as delivered so that the postal service’s transit times look better (to whom???), but this practice annoys him because it’s cheating and makes his job more difficult. He’s asked me to complain to higher-ups, whether locally or at the federal level, but I haven’t figured out yet how to do so.

    Sunscreen pills exist. They can’t replace topical sunscreen application, but they can help boost your skin’s natural protection by a little bit.

  6. Paula Laramie says:

    Jen,

    I love your blog with great recipes and the fact that you also use high altitude measurements. Your photos make me homesick for CO where I had the great privilege of living for 32yrs. Thankfully my daughter lives in Boulder and works for one of those great coffee houses you mention. So I have a connection to get my Rocky Mtn. Fix! Keep up the good work!

    Paula

  7. Pey-Lih says:

    My job is to ride my bike and eat blueberry scones.

  8. Abbe@This is How I Cook says:

    I’d like to eat one in the meadow where those flowers are! And just how are the Colorado wild flowers doing? Don’t envy the mosquito part but what a great thing to have to do! I think….

  9. Victoria says:

    Try ‘Skin So Soft’ by Avon for an excellent insect repellant.

  10. jill says:

    Victoria…I have always heard that about Avon, Skin SO Soft! I just saw it for sale locally, and may try that myself. Jen, let me know if you want a bottle. It’s impossible to find an AVON lady!

    I love love love your wildflower photos! I do not know what to say about the USPS lying.

  11. Cindi says:

    YUM!! And the wildflower shots? Stunning

  12. JULIANA says:

    Hello,
    I have tried the recipe, but the dough was not like in the pictures… Very floppy… I could not enen shape it the way you did…

  13. Ouida Lampert says:

    Regarding a mosquito repellent in pill form – ever tried vitamin B1? It works for me. Extremely well (have to take it, daily, for a week or so before it works, but then, the buggies bite everybody ELSE).

  14. laurasmess says:

    Such beautiful photographs… staring at the beautiful blooms, the sunny butter peeking through the flour, the sun-drenched blueberries… I just feel so at peace with the world :) Sorry to hear that your friend’s scones got held up in the post office. What a waste of glorious baking! I’ve never attempted to send any foodstuffs via Australia Post. Quarantine from state to state means that most things get thrown out anyway! Thanks for sharing this gorgeous post with us. I am so excited to try your scone recipe, they look glorious xx

  15. Stephen Andrew says:

    Oh my god I want to design an entire room around that larkspur shot. Gorgeoussssss. Triple back that up on your hard drive because I’ll need to buy it for my new house!

  16. Rachel says:

    Found your blog looking for blueberry scone recipes. Taking Vitamin A when you want to guard your skin from burning is very useful. It used to be in a product called Silvasun sold in the UK. Not sure of the amount now, but I had asked a pharmacist to suggest an amount and took it for a week before going to Greece, and during the time when I was there. I did use some low factor sun protection as well, but I didn’t burn at all.

  17. jenyu says:

    Katrina – ahhh, so jealous of all your blueberries!!

    Kristin – I know! I’m WILLING TO PAY for good sunblock/bug repellant in pill form (bonus if they are in one pill!)

    Flavia – you are so sweet, my dear. I love you!

    Rocky Mountain Woman – I don’t even know what lazy Sunday mornings are anymore. Also – yes, USPS SUCKS.

    Justine – ;) I agree. Little foods are so much more fun. What a totally stupid way of dealing with delivery! There is a reason the USPS is bleeding money… because they’re run by a bunch of monkeys. As for sunscreen pills – I need something that blocks the sun, not just helps boost my natural protection ;)

    Paula – thanks!

    Pey-Lih – okay!

    Abbe – the wildflowers were (and still are) spectacular in Colorado this year!

    Victoria – yeah, that doesn’t really work so well when the mosquitoes are thick. 100% DEET is more effective.

    jill – I’ve tried it years ago and found it was marginally useful for me.

    Cindi – :)

    Juliana – well, I can only surmise that your measurements may be off. My dough was barely wet enough to smoosh together. Or you could try adding more flour.

    Ouida – I’ve never tried it, but that might be worth a shot next year.

    laurasmess – such a shame! I’ll have to remember that if I ever ship things around in Australia!

    Stephen Andrew – :)

    Rachel – interesting! Thanks!

  18. May says:

    Lovely pictures & the scones looks delicious!
    How will they hold up if I were to make them a day ahead? Would I need to reheat? Please advise~!

  19. Michelle B says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! These scones were sublime and WAY better than anything I’ve ever had at Starbucks :) I did have to make one minor change; I didn’t have any raw sugar for the tops, so I made a quick lemon glaze and dipped the scones into that…yummy! Thanks again!

  20. jenyu says:

    May – They should be fine up to a couple of days. Only reheat if you like them warm, otherwise serve at room temperature.

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  23. Rebecca says:

    I have made these scones several times in the past couple months for brunch and as fillers for goody baskets and people love them!! I tweeked it and add more blueberries than it calls for or i have made them with different berries. I know quite the rebel I am. Just wanted to say I love this recipe because its so easy to follow and the scones are truly delicious – so thanks!!

  24. Anna says:

    These are the best blueberry scones I have ever made!!!!! I absolutely love your website and recipes – thank you SOOO much for inspiring me!

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