There really is nothing more lovely than gathering around the island in my mom’s kitchen and sharing a plate of warm scones, straight from the oven, with my family on a Saturday morning.
I like to wake up before my siblings on mornings like these so I can enjoy the cool calm of the granite countertops under my fingers, the white tile under my feet, and the quiet country air before anyone else moves from their beds, except for my dad, of course, who’s highlighting whatever bookmagazinenewspaper he’s been reading since 4 a.m. in his study. I aim to have the scones in the oven before anyone else wakes, so the sweet smell of the freshly baked treats fills the air like a bakery, luring everyone out of bed one by one.
But most of the time it’s like my sisters already know what I’m up to—they’re usually gathered around the island by the time I turn the dough out on the floured countertop, sleepily tossing their hair, shaking off sleep, and impatiently inquiring when breakfast will be ready. By the time the scones go into the oven, the entire family is gathered around the table, eager for freshly baked pastries and coffee.
I usually make cranberry scones with frozen cranberries, but I got my hands on some Meyer lemons and decided to try out a new variation: Meyer lemon and dried Mission fig. Dried figs aren’t for everyone, but I love the concentrated sweet figgy flavor and dried fruit chew of them. Meyer lemons are less tart than regular lemons and very juicy; their season is coming to an end, so I decided to stock up at the fruit market. Don’t like lemon? Omit the juice and zest. Swap out the dried figs for your favorite dried or fresh fruit and make the scone of your (or your family’s) dreams. Better hop on it. If you’re family is anything like mine, they’ll be spreading butter and jam over these scones as soon as they come out of the oven, and goading you impatiently until they do.
Meyer Lemon & Mission Fig Scones
These are also great with cranberries instead of figs. Prep Time: 15 minutes. Total Time: 15 minutes. Serves 8. Click here to download a printable copy of this recipe.
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
5 Tbs. sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for topping
1 Tbs. baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tbs. lemon zest
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) half-and-half
2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ c. chopped mission figs
Make scone dough. Preheat oven to 425˚F. In a bowl, whisk together flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2/3 cup half-and-half and lemon juice until just moistened. Gently fold in chopped figs.
Portion and bake. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently, 5 to 10 times. Pat into a 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges or use a circle cutter and place the scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush tops with remaining tablespoon half-and-half; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter and jam.