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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4th of July Scones

I didn't intend to make 4th of July scones. In Fairbanks, the 4th of July is pretty much a non-event. The primary reason is that it never gets dark, so fireworks are out of the question. I really do miss celebrating the day. Growing up in the Mid-west, the 4th of July was always a big celebration. My grandparents lived in a small town directly across the street from the community park. Every 4th of July there was a parade and a huge celebration in the park. Friends and family would stop by all day on their way to or from the park. The kids would run back and forth from the park all day long. There were games including coin tosses, and watermelon eating competitions. Even though it didn't get dark until nearly 11:00 in Northern Michigan, there were still fireworks every year.
Some of the smaller towns surrounding Fairbanks do have parades and community picnics, but we have never attended. I would like to check out the Ester parade sometime. Maybe this year. For the most part I see the 4th of July just slipping by again this year. Especially with it falling mid-week. Having a day off mid-week feels like more of a nuisance than a break. These red, white, and blue scones made from some berries I had leftover from a variety of other projects might be as close as we come to celebrating. 

4th of July Scones
adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons sugar
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup bluberries
1/2 cup strawberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup half and half
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture, squeezing and pinching with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and there are no butter lumps bigger than a pea. Add the sugar, lemon zest, and berries and gently stir to incorporate.  
Pour the half and half into a small bowl and add the egg. Beat with a fork to mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and stir gently to just combine. The dough will look dry and crumbly, and there may be some unincorporated flour at the bottom of the bowl. Using your hands, squeeze and press the dough into a round mass. Turn the dough, and any excess flour, out onto a board or counter top, and press and gather and knead it until it just comes together. You do not want to overwork the dough; ideally, do not knead it more than 12 times. There may be some excess flour that is not absorbed, it does not matter. Pat dough into a round circle about 1 inch thick.


  1. That looks lovely with all the berries. Perfect for season. Hope you had a great 4th July :)

  2. ooohh...
    looks really delicious!

  3. Those look wonderful! I make scones at least once a week - from the Fiddlehead Restaurant Cookbook (my favorite!). Their recipe calls for plain yogurt instead of half and half. Your recipe sounds so rich and luscious, I will try them this week!

    We have our fireworks on July 3rd at midnight when it finally gets dark. On the Fourth, we have two parades: one in downtown Juneau and one in Douglas.

    You'll just have to visit us for the Fourth some time - we know how to celebrate here!

    1. Paula,
      I often swap out the dairy in my scones for whatever happens to be in my fridge. We most often have half and half for our coffee, so that is what I most often use. There have been occasions when there isn't enough for coffee and scones and I have used buttermilk, yogurt, heavy cream, or regular whole milk instead. All of those options work with this recipe and really only produce slightly different results. The heavy cream however does produce a much drier scone which I actually like.
      That is great that you at least get a little darkness there, I think it makes all the difference for 4th of July celebrations. I have to admit that I am already looking forward to a little darkness here.


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