Sour Lemon Scones + Birthday Dinner

by byn on October 24, 2010

in Muffins & Scones

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I have this thing about snooty hostesses who work in restaurants. It fills me with rage that I find hard to get over. I just can’t handle these people who think they’re god’s gift to the food service industry.

So last Friday when I called to make a reservation at a restaurant in my new ‘hood for my birthday dinner on Saturday Night (admittedly late, I know), I was already expecting a little bit of attitude. But when the girl on the end of the line gave a big sigh and said “Well I guess I could fit you in at a table by the bar… you know the ones under the stairs?” I just couldn’t take it.

This is becoming a big problem for me, and I wonder if other foodies/home cooks feel this way too. Do you really want to bring your BFFs out to a loud restaurant with overpriced food and small portions, when you know in your heart you can make something better – or at least exactly what you feel like – at home?

Sometimes I don’t mind, because I do like eating out and getting new ideas, but my answer last weekend was a resounding NO. So I told the girls to pull on their leggings, put their hair in ponytails, and pack their slippers – we were dining in. I had a super stressful week at work (I may or may not have sung with a team of co-workers in front of 600 people for a charity event), and I just wanted some comfort food, good company, and to catch up with my besties.

I decided we would have brunch for dinner. I made a quiche with caramelized onions, bacon and white cheddar in homemade pie crust, filled with a rich custard based on this one by Smitten Kitchen. I tossed a big salad of red leaf lettuce, sliced apple, sweet & spicy pecans, and a simple white balsamic vinaigrette.

And to round out our little feast, I wanted to make scones. SK had just posted some Apple & Cheddar Scones on her site, but I’m still not sure how I feel about those. So I opened my Baked cookbook, and found these Sour Lemon Scones. They aren’t really sour, just a light, flaky lemon biscuit, that went perfectly with the Raspberry Rhubarb Jam & Apple Butter I picked up at the Markham fair a few weekends ago.

And the best part of eating at home? You can have seconds…even thirds…and of course leftovers the next day! Dessert is coming in a separate post :)

Sour Lemon Scones

Source: Adapted from Baked – New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito (I left out the ginger and candied lemon peel from this recipe)


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cubed and cold

1 egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/8 cup grated lemon zest

1 tbsp raw sugar


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly, and the butter is the size of peas.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup buttermilk, and the lemon zest. Slowly pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and gently knead the dough until it comes together.
  3. Dump out the dough on to a lightly floured counter, and knead just a few times until it comes together. Shape the dough into two discs, about 1″ in height. Cut each disc into 6 wedges. (Note: This is half the original recipe, and I wanted mini scones, so mine were cute and small).
  4. Since scones are best fresh out of the oven, I placed my scones on a parchment lined baking sheet and put in the fridge until we were about ready to eat. You could also put them in the freezer on a baking sheet, and then once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and store for a while.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350, and brush the tops of scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes for mini scones, or until they are nice and golden brown on top.


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