When my brother Butch was visiting with us for a while, he came downstairs and asked if I could “…make those rocks for breakfast again”. My female brain was mystified, not to mention insulted. I am sure my look in Allen’s direction communicated my confusion. Allen looked at me and I could tell that something was ruminating in his male brain, but I was at a complete loss.
Allen said, “You mean scones?” and Butch answered, “Yeah, that’s it!”
I knew Allen was good at reading people, but how his mind processed rocks-to stones-to scones was beyond me! Whenever I make these reduced fat scones, I smile as I think of that morning, my bewilderment, and the way the male brain works.
OKAY, THEN, I CAN MAKE SCONES…
This recipe is not a traditional Scottish or English scone recipe because it was created to be lower in fat. It is delicious, though, and not at all hard as a rock. These scones have less than half the amount of butter as traditional recipes. Most scone recipes also have an egg or two, and heavy cream. Yogurt is used as a substitute and makes a moist, but still light scone.
The other difference between this recipe and regular scones is that the jam is baked right on the top of the scones. Allen especially loved these when I used my homemade low sugar sour cherry jam. That recipe will be coming up here sometime soon, but you can use any jam that you have on hand. There is no need to split these and add any additional butter, unless you REALLY like butter.
CUT IN A BIT OF BUTTER
I start as usual by mixing dry ingredients, then cutting in the butter. It should look like coarse meal, but don’t worry about some irregular lumps. I like to use a pastry cutter for this because there is not much butter and it is quick. You can use your hands if you prefer. if you have warm hands, however, you run the risk of softening the butter too much. Then you would end up with something more cake-like than scone-like.
When I combine the wet and dry ingredients, I use a fork because I think it helps keep the butter from mushing into a batter. Dump the somewhat cohesive clump onto a lightly floured surface. Quickly knead it few times to get it to hold together and coerce it into a flat round.
Transfer it to a cookie sheet lined with a silpat, or lightly sprayed parchment. The silpat makes a softer bottom crust than the parchment.
LOOKS MORE COMPLICATED THAN IT IS
Use a long knife to cut the dough into 12 wedges, cutting to the bottom of the dough, but not cutting through to separate each wedge. Just try to clearly define each section. Then use a small, sharp paring knife to make a slit in the middle of edge wedge. Use a teaspoon to nuzzle jam into each slit.
Bake the scones for 15-18 minutes, or until golden. If the center looks moist, I insert a toothpick to make sure it is cooked through. The toothpick should be dry, with only a few crumbs clinging to it, but not moist.
Remove the scones to a rack to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, chilled
- 8 ounces low-fat yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 1/4 cup jam, any flavor
- 2 tablespoons nuts, finely chopped (optional)
Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yogurt and vanilla to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Dough will be sticky.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times. Pat dough into an 8-inch circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Divide the dough into 12 wedges, but don’t cut all the way through to separate the dough.
Make a small slit in the center of each wedge. Place 1 teaspoon of jam on top of each slit. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until golden.
Cool on baking sheet for five minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Let cool for another 5 or 10 minutes before cutting.