Spring has sprung! Officially, anyway. Annnnd it’s freezing here…after it was 80 degrees a couple weeks ago. Womp womp.
Regardless of the temperature outside, it’s technically spring now, which means more sunshine and fresh flowers (hopefully!). Oh, and lots of fresh, light food. And while this makes me super excited and happy, I have to admit, every time spring rolls around, I am a leeeeettle melancholy about the season change. And not only because that means swimsuit season is right around the corner (boo to THAT). I ADORE the coziness of winter and am always sad to see my chunky sweaters and fuzzy slippers go. At least the trade off is awesome too. Nothing beats that first spring day.
The past few weeks have been lovely, and we’ve spent so much more time outside. I feel like I’m finally starting to un-hibernate, and that alone is a liberating feeling. I’m suddenly more motivated to get up off the couch and DO something, whereas in the winter, it’s such a struggle to be productive (for me anyway). Even everyday errands seem like such a burden. #firstworldproblemos
Watching the season change through Kieran’s eyes is also amazing. Last year, I feel like he was still too little to really sense any day-to-day change. Now, while he may not remember any of it in a few months or years, he seems to be understanding that things are different outside. And as a result, he’s obsessed with going outside in our backyard or to the park to explore this whole new world. And when we’re inside, he stands on his little stool and stares out the window for long stretches of time. It’s adorable.
He’s obsessed with sticks and rocks (such a typical boy, hah), but also loves pointing out the blooming flowers and birds flying overhead. He sees everything with such a sense of wonder, and it’s put an extra “yay, it’s spring” spring in my step this year. It’s such a special time anyway, and to watch it all unfold through a small child’s eyes is just…well…it’s pretty amazing.
OK, enough mom rambling. Let’s get to business.
To celebrate the official start of spring, I made you some scones. Not just any scones, though! Lemon cream scones! These babies are dense (in a good way) and flaky, not at all dry, and loaded with fresh citrus flavor. We all know by now that lemon is one of my top five favorite flavors, and these scones definitely quell my lemon craving. They’re so bright and light…well, as bright and light as scones can be, I guess.
I top them, like I do all my scones, with a raw sugar crust, and I swear, it MAKES them. Well, that, and the vanilla berry butter we’re spreading on top. Holy freaking moly. Make extra of this stuff. It is to die for. It’s loaded with berry flavor and has just a touch of that warm sweetness we all know and love from vanilla. I could see myself schmearing it on so many things.
Toast? Yes. Muffins? Oh yes. Bagels? Yup. On top of a tall stack of pancakes? Come to mama. And most definitely on these scones.
For my butter, I went with fresh blueberries, but you could do any berry or combination of berries you like. In fact, I originally intended to use both strawberries and blueberries, but the strawberries weren’t looking so hot at the store that week. So I skipped them and doubled up on the blueberries. And the butter turned out fabulous. It helps that blueberries are everyone’s favorite berry in my house. The amount of this butter that Dan was spreading on his scone was borderline obscene. There was almost more butter than scone. He swears it’s because blueberries are his favorite, but we all know the butter itself doesn’t hurt anything.
I really can’t fault him too much, though. Because not only are both the butter and the scones perfection in their own rights, but when you put them together, something magic happens. It’s no secret that citrus and fresh berries have an affinity for each other, and this scone-butter combo proves that fact again. It’s a little happy explosion of flavor with each and every bite.
Especially when you use Dan’s butter-scone ratio.
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting work surface
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
⅓ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of fine salt
¾ cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
Zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
Coarse turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup fresh berries of choice (I went with blueberries)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low for a minute or so or until the mixture resembles wet sand.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla.
Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture, and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, and form into a flat disc, about 8 inches in diameter and 2 inches thick. Cut into 8 wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
Brush the scones with egg wash and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake until the tops are golden brown and firm, 35-40 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until it is fluffy and light, about 1 minute.
Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat to combine.
Lightly chop the fruit so it isn’t in big chunks. Switch the whisk attachment to a paddle attachment (or use the hand mixer on very low speed), and mix in the berries. Mix until the berries are incorporated evenly but not completely demolished. You want some chunks of berry going on. You can make this ahead and keep in an airtight container (just make sure to allow time for softening before serving).
Serve the butter with the scones.
Scones adapated from here.