When I first started working as a pastry chef in a restaurant all those years ago, brunch was one of those shifts that the newbie (me) got assigned to!
After working those 60 plus hours a week, the experienced back-of-the-house staff wanted that ONE day to themselves to sleep in.
So, it was my job to fill the buffet table (and keep it full) of breads, muffins, sweet breakfast pastries, fruit platters and desserts. And, I’m not sure I understand why, but I was also responsible for cocktail shrimp and all the salads. Hmmm?
Anyway, one of the most asked for recipes of my career at that restaurant was for my scones. Who would have thunk? I had things out there on that buffet far more decadent and show stopping than a slightly sweet, triangle-shaped, biscuit-like pastry.
But, week after week, their love of this scone continued to the point I couldn’t take it off the menu.
So, this triple berry scone version, with a hint of orange zest, warranted being converted to gluten free.
You’ll see there’s very little sugar added to the dough. I like one of two finishes to bump up the sweetness just a bit.
- Either top the scone with crystal sugar (aka sanding sugar) right before baking
2. Or, once the scones come out of the oven, I brush them with a slightly warmed apricot jam (strain out the pieces of fruit, if necessary).
Both are totally optional.
Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Keep fruit frozen right up until ready to add into the mix. You’ll toss the fruit with the flour immediately before adding to the mix. Some color will still bleed into the dough, but it will prevent the dough from turning an unattractive gray color.
- Dice the butter and place back in the refrigerator to keep it as cold as possible. Take out of fridge right before adding to mix. See 3. for why.
3. Don’t overmix butter. You want chunks of butter left in the mix. It’ll provide pockets of tenderness in the scone.
4. Don’t overhandle the dough. There’s no gluten to make the dough tough, but the heat from your hands will melt the butter. And, see 3. for why again.
5. And, here’s a picture of how I form the dough. I divide the dough in half and form two 6″ discs that are about 1″ high. I then make 4 cuts to form 8 triangles for each disc.