You'll love these blackberry scones flavored with fresh thyme and drizzled with a simple lemon glaze. They make a perfect late summer breakfast treat.
Is it just me, or are blackberries one of the summer's most underrated fruits?
When so many local fruits and vegetables come into season all at once, it's hard to keep up with them all. Yet, some always seem to steal the spotlight. Take strawberries and blueberries, for instance. I love them. Blueberries are my favorite berry. But every once in a while, let's try something else.
It's the first year our blackberry plant has produced a significant amount of fruit. And wow, how did I not know they were so good? Admittedly, I hadn't paid much attention to these juicy purple berries. I actually thought the plant was a black raspberry up until recently. However, these plump and pleasantly tart berries are exactly my kind of fruit.
Of course, blackberries, also known as brambles, have been around for ages. At least 2,500 years, as far as we know. They are used for making pies and jams and are a good source of fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.
I found it interesting to learn that Mexico is the largest blackberry producer worldwide, as I've never particularly associated blackberries with Mexican cuisine. But after some quick searching, I'm inspired by ideas for blackberry margaritas, blackberry sauces for pulled pork and steak, and blackberry agua fresca.
The one downside to blackberries is that they're best used as soon after picking as possible. You can store them in the fridge for a couple of days, and there's always the option of freezing, but the sooner you use them, the better. The berries tend to break down and release their juice before long.
That's why I thought to combine them in a baked good that is also (in my opinion) only good within the first day or two of baking: scones. While many scone recipes use dried fruit, such as currants or raisins, I like the burst of juice you get when taking a bite of scone with fresh berries. Scones tend to run dry anyway, so we might as well add fresh fruit to the batter.
If you've always been more of a muffin type of person, scones are a nice change of pace. They're less sweet and are more of a variation on biscuits. And scones are just as easy to make.
To make a batch of these blackberry scones, you'll need:
- lemon zest and juice
- baking powder
- baking soda
- powdered sugar (optional)
Here's a quick overview of the recipe. For the full details, jump to the recipe below.
Start by mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl and the liquid in another.
Then use your hands to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a crumbly texture.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Then dump out the dough onto a floured surface and roll it out into a rectangle.
Place the blackberries across the scone dough.
Then gently roll the dough up into a log without crushing the berries.
Divide the blackberry scone dough into squares, then triangles for a classic scone shape. Brush them with the butter before popping in a 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes. Afterward, drizzle with the glaze, if making.
💭 Top Tips
- To keep the berries intact and prevent creating a purple dough, I used a technique outlined in America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook where berries are pressed into the dough at the end of a brief folding and kneading process.
- Knowing that scones are best eaten fresh from the oven, you could prepare the dough, shape the scones the evening prior, and bake them fresh in the morning. The summer heat and humidity make it a challenge to keep baked goods taste fresh, even the next day. On that note, it's important to keep everything as cold as possible as you prepare the scone batter. This creates flakier scones. If things are warm, the scones will be dense and much less tasty.
Thyme: For fun, I threw in some leaves from my thyme plant. I like the hint of earthiness it adds with the blackberries, though feel free to leave it out if that doesn't sound appealing to you. Or maybe try rosemary.
Glaze: I also felt like indulging with a super-easy glaze of lemon juice and powdered sugar drizzled over the scones after baking. But again, that's totally optional. You could also use oranges or limes.
Berries: Try any other berry in place of the blackberries in these scones. Just be careful of how soft and juicy they are. Extra juicy berries will soften the dough.
As mentioned, these blackberry scones are really best enjoyed the day they are made. If you need to store them for a day or so, do so covered at room temperature. I recommend warming them back up before serving.