mixed berry scones
“How can I find the words? Poets have taken them all and left me with nothing to say or do.”
“Except to teach me for the first time what they meant.”
-Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, Dorothy Sayers: A Busman’s Honeymoon

I’m not one for using expletives much in my day-to-day, but I must admit this past Monday a very loud one flew out of my mouth as my twitter notifications lit up my phone. Somehow, I had won the Reader’s Choice portion of the Saveur Food Blog Awards for Baking and Desserts. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m still pinching myself. It’s a huge honor, a dream come true, and I have you to thank. All you wonderful, lovely readers who took the time to cast a vote my way, thank you so much.

I share the category with the amazing Izy from Top With Cinnamon (who won Editor’s Choice), and I am excited that in just over a month I get to meet her, along with so many other favorite bloggers.

But in the meantime, scones! My family went out Monday night to celebrate with dinner, but I just had to bake something, too. Mixed berries, crème fraîche, and lavender seemed like a good combination, and they might be my favorite scones to date. The berries are tart, the lavender subtle, and the crème fraîche smooth and dreamy, rounding everything out. A perfect way to start the day.
mixed berry scones
Also, a few things:
Michael Jackson. Amazing.

Great writing advice, all in one place.

The Office Stare Machine.

-I can’t wait for Kimberley’s new book! And, Erin’s too!

-I’m now contributing over at Wit + Delight! You can check out my first post, for Strawberry-Basil Smoothies.

-I also have Chocolate Sugar Cookies up on Handmade Charlotte.

mixed berry scones
Mixed Berry Scones with Crème Fraîche and Lavender
adapted from Ina Garten and Cooks Illustrated

I’ve been making scones the same way for years – an adaption of Ina Garten’s Strawberry Scones from her first cookbook. However, I recently made Cooks Illustrated’s blueberry scones and loved their technique of grating the butter and folding the dough over to create layers. I decided to try it out with my scone recipe, and, it was so good! And, I’ll never go back! So here’s my version of things. You can watch this video if you need help shaping the scones (the recipe will be different, but the technique the same).

I only used the lavender sugar in these scones, and the flavor was very light. I suggest adding a tablespoon of chopped lavender for a bit more taste, but be careful, because too much lavender make the scones taste soapy. I used lavender leaves, but dried buds will also work here. If you don’t have crème fraîche, you can substitute sour cream (I like to add a tablespoon or two of milk to the sour cream if using, to loosen it up just a bit).

2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp lavender sugar (recipe follows), or more to taste (if your berries are very tart, for instance)
1/2 tsp salt
12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mixed berries, chopped into bite-sized pieces (I used strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
heavy cream for brushing
1-2 tablespoons lavender sugar for sprinkling

Position a rack in the center of the oven and the preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the flour, baking powder, lavender sugar, salt, and chopped lavender (if using) together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche, vanilla, and eggs. Grate the frozen butter on the large holes of a box cutter and add it to the flour mixture. Toss with your fingers until the butter is evenly coated. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, and dust the top of the dough with flour. Knead the dough 6 to 8 times, until it resembles a ragged ball (add more flour if it is sticking too much).

Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Fold the dough in thirds (a business letter fold). Lift the short ends of the dough and fold into thirds again, making a 4 inch square. Transfer dough to a baking sheet  or plate dusted with flour, and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Bring the chilled dough back to your floured surface, and roll into a 12 inch square again. Sprinkle the mixed berries over the dough, then press them down gently into the dough. Using a bench scraper, loosen the dough from the surface, and roll it into a cylinder (roll it like a jelly-roll log to help incorporate the berries). Roll the cylinder so it is seam side down, and then press into a 12 by 4 inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles. Transfer the triangles to the baking sheet.

Brush the tops with a little heavy cream and sprinkle them generously with lavender sugar. Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
lavender sugar | the vanilla bean blog
Lavender Sugar
This recipe makes much more than is needed, but think of all the lovely things you could do with this sugar! {Sprinkle on muffins, use in pie or tart dough, stir in some hot chocolate or coffee…}

1 spring lavender leaves
1 cup sugar

Place the lavender and sugar in a food processor, and process until leaves are chopped so small they look like green crystals in the sugar. Refrigerate sugar for up to three weeks.

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38 Responses to mixed berry scones with crème fraîche and lavender

  1. That award DEFINITELY deserves an expletive! So freaking stoked for you girl 🙂

  2. Michelle says:

    Sarah, these scones are absolutely STUNNING. Congratulations on the win! You deserve it.

  3. stephanie says:

    Congrats girl!! These scones are beautiful! I think a couple of expletives are necessary now and then 😉

  4. Ileana says:

    So lovely. Congrats! I’ll have to try that grate + fold technique.

    Where do you get the lavender?

  5. Jennifer says:

    Congratulations!! This lovely blog has been my favorite for several years and I am SO happy others have both discovered it and given you your due accolades. Sending love from CA!

  6. Laura says:

    Lavender and berries is one of my all time favourite combinations and scones, my undisputed fave in the breakfast treat department, so this is just perfect. But really? I’m just so excited to finally meet and give you a big hug. (There were a million, highly predictable, expletives when I found out–EEEFFFF!!) xoxoxo

  7. Winnie says:

    These are dreamy. And HUGE congrats on your Saveur win. So very awesome, and well deserved!

  8. Sophia says:

    This technique is so intriguing – I love the different layers you can see in the pictures. I think the technique given in Tartine 3 is very similar (and the only reason I haven’t tried that recipe yet is that their recipe is made with sourdough so I need to wait for my starter to mature). Love the idea of pairing lavender with the berries as well – I like floral flavours but can find them overpowering at times so love the idea of the slightly tart berries to temper that a bit!

    Congrats on the saver award as well, so truly deserved. Your blog is an absolute inspiration and I love how you pair flavours for your recipes!

  9. Congratulations!!
    These scones have got me craving summer big time!

  10. Tieghan says:

    I am beyond excited for you!! You deserve is 120%!! 🙂

    Also, these scones make me so happy! Love them!

  11. Sarah says:

    Congratulations on your win – incredibly well deserved. Also, lavender in scones? Yes please!

  12. Yippee!! Super massive congratulations Sarah, so well deserved 🙂 xx

  13. Liesl Made says:

    Congratulations on the win, Sarah. Well deserved. 🙂

    These scones look gorgeous and delicious.

  14. JulieD says:

    So gorgeous!! I want three of these right now!

  15. These are so beautiful! And big congratulations!! 🙂

  16. Sandy @ RE says:

    Sarah, I love this recipe, and it’s perfect for Easter brunch! And congrats, girl!

  17. cj says:

    Congratulations on you Saveur Food Blog Award – I would to personally invite you to share your gorgeous food photos with us over at Food Foto Gallery . com – In March alone, we had 26,382 visitors to the site & there’s no complicated approval process like the big guys. Any photos related to food (that are not watermarked) are accepted & get posted automatically. We also share our daily faves on social media, giving exposure to food bloggers when we can. Let me know if you have any questions and hope to see you at the site 🙂

  18. […] starting off this weeks grocery list with the ever popular scooooone. Sarah went and folded berries into hers like a boss. (via The Vanilla Bean […]

  19. […] thought I had scones down but then Sarah from The Vanilla Bean Blog made mixed berry scones with creme fraiche and lavender and I feel like I need to contemplate my life. Look at how perfect they […]

  20. […] Mixed Berry Scones with Creme Fraiche & Lavender – The Creme Fraiche I couldn’t do for obvious reasons, but the Berry Scones and Lavender… Oh, yes! […]

  21. Congratulations! I voted for you!

    How are you not doing an entire post on the Saveur award alone!

    These scones do look delicious and I just made up some lemon curd, so, I’ll probably whip these up today, but let’s talk more about the blog of the year thing! Yay!!!



  22. Izy says:

    The scones look beautiful – I’ve never tried the butter grating/folding method, but I think I’ll be trying it out soon.. and YAY! congrats Sarah you deserved the win so much 🙂 I’m so excited to meet you & the other finalists next month!!! X

  23. Skye says:

    SO many congratulations on the award – so well deserved. Everything that you bake is beautiful. Like… these scones. Love that you’ve added a touch of lavender – such a summery touch with the berries.

  24. […] Risotto (David Lebovitz) Roast Chicken with Thai Chili Compound Butter (Kitchen Confidante) Mixed Berry Scones with Creme Fraiche and Lavender (The Vanilla Bean […]

  25. Congratulations on a well-deserved win. These scones sound so utterly amazing.

  26. Susan G says:

    I am taking a break from flour at the moment (sob) so I will have to wait for the scones, but I am making this lavender sugar right now! Am already dreaming of so many subtly lavender treats. Might even start off with a Lavender/Strawberry Jam inspired by you – thanks!

  27. […] from Cook’s Illustrated via The Vanilla Bean Blog. Makes 10-12 […]

  28. Alanna says:

    Oh wow, these look like the ultimate berry scones! I’ve been making a version similar to these, with lemon instead of lavender, but that folding technique looks infinitely superior to mine, and the additions of lavender and crème fraîche? I’m obsessed!

  29. […] for a unique scone combination? How about mixed berry scones with crème fraîche and lavender. Sounds interesting. One of my favorite blogs, The Vanilla Bean Blog, has the […]

  30. Becky says:

    I love your blog and I cannot wait to try these scones. One suggestion, can you make the recipes printer friendly? Or have some way to print them out.

    Thanks and keep up the great work

    • Sarah says:

      Becky – Oh, I know I need to make these printer friendly! I hope to get to that one day soon; I’m sorry it’s such a pain right now. (And, thanks for the kind words!)

  31. […] had some buttermilk to use up, so I found these glorious Mixed Berry Scones with Crème Fraîche and Lavender on my current baking blog obsession, Sarah Kieffer’s The Vanilla Bean Blog. I didn’t […]

  32. […] of raspberry making the dough a touch blue. I saw this technique of rolling the scones over at The Vanilla Bean Blog, a method America’s Test Kitchen created. It makes the prettiest scones. I used my favorite […]

  33. The flavor combination of these sounds incredible! On my “to do” list for this week!

  34. […] Vanilla Bean Blog has the most gorgeous selection of scone recipes, and especially these ones, which turn out just, almost, like the pictures. But I’m not sure I have time to give the […]

  35. […] had this stunning recipe from Sarah bookmarked for a while as she is pretty much the expert on baking. Using what I had on […]

  36. I’m obsessed with scones! This recipe looks amazing! I love cooking with lavender too!

  37. DC Cook says:

    I finally made these scones and they were amazing. I love your folding method for making scones and I am a total convert. These have a nice berry flavor, the hint of lavender is perfect, and they are not very sweet, so you can taste the richness of the butter/crème fraiche.

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