Cardamom crème fraîche scones
Sandwiched with pear butter
I have a warm hug of a recipe for you today. Cardamom is one of those spices I reach for often as the weather cools — its woodsy aroma perfumes a home as well as any scented candle. Here I’ve paired it with creme fraiche (I make my own, using this Serious Eats formula) in a tender yet flaky scone. A generous schmear of pear butter running through the center gives these breakfast treats some visual pizazz.
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My top scone tips
Here are the techniques I rely on for tall, picturesque scones.
Keep it cold: Like pie dough and biscuits, scones depend on cold ingredients and a gentle touch to rise flaky and tender. Keep your butter and wet ingredients well-chilled before making your dough. If you’re working in a warm environment or have hot hands, you may even want to chill your dry ingredients prior to mixing.
Bake from frozen: I’m not a “bake before coffee” kind of person so I always prep scones the day before I bake them, freeze them overnight, then bake straight from frozen. This breaks up the work (and lets me sleep in), but more importantly ensures that the butter is properly cold going into the oven and won’t seep out during baking. Cold butter + hot oven = gorgeous, tall, and flaky scones. I especially recommend an overnight freeze for these scone “sandwiches” — it will lock the filling in place and help the scones keep their shape.
Cut them thick: If you want thick scones, cut your scones thick! Yes, they will rise a bit in the oven but you’ll never get a truly tall scone if your dough is only, say, 1/2” thick going into the oven. I usually cut my scone dough at least 1” thick, and they’ll roughly double in height after baking.
Cut straight down: This is especially important if you’ve added some folds into your dough (as in this recipe). Use a sharp knife to slice straight down to preserve those layers. If you cut at an angle, the layers will rise unevenly, resulting in toppled or slumped scones.