Rhubarb Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze are filled with tiny bits of rhubarb, and are perfect for breakfast, brunch or a garden tea party. These tender and buttery scones are mildly sweet and simple to make, with bits of tender pink and green rhubarb poking through the dough. For a subtle sweet crunch, these scones can be topped with a sprinkle of sparkling sugar before baking, or drizzled with a simple vanilla bean glaze for a tender and sweet finish.
A warm scone fresh from the oven with the tart flavor of rhubarb and the slightly sweet dough is perfect all on its own, but if you like your scones a little sweeter, the Vanilla Bean Glaze is scone perfection! You can also prepare these more traditionally without the Vanilla Bean Glaze, and serve with rhubarb jam on the side to slather on the tender scones, or serve with clotted cream for a full-on English tea experience.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE SCONES?
"Traditional" scones come from the United Kingdom, where they are served with jam and clotted cream, as part of a British afternoon or "cream" tea. Scones are typically round or curved. They’re slightly sweet, but not overly so – hence the jam! Most importantly, scones are flaky. They easily break apart into tender, fluffy pieces.
From there, scones have traveled the world. They don’t have to be round anymore and come in various shapes, sizes and even flavors. If you compare a typical British scone to an American one, you'll hardly be able to tell the difference in size or sweetness. But scones throughout the world are united by one characteristic - a tender, flaky texture.
Scones have been a staple of breakfast tables for centuries, and it's easy to understand why. You can make the dough in a matter of minutes, and they bake very quickly. Best warm right out of the oven, they are perfect with tea or coffee for brunch or a sweet treat.
WHAT SHAPE ARE SCONES?
There are basically two ways to shape a scone:
1. Roll out the dough into a thick sheet and cut it into pieces, or
2. Shape the dough into individual balls and flatten them with your hand.
The first one is the ‘"traditional" method and it does have a lot of advantages. During baking, scones will rise up. A neatly cut side of a scone helps the scone to lift and reach higher heights. The edges where the scone has been cut allow for easier expansion and create a more vertical lift. Some bakers feel that using a biscuit cutter will give you cleaner edges than a sharp knife, but either way works!
However, when shaping a scone into a ball, the lift can happen anywhere on the scone. It can ‘crack’ or grow on the side or top when expanding., very much like bread does when it bakes and rises.
There are also scone baking pans, but they really don't do anything to improve the look or taste of scones. Sometimes simple is best!
SO ARE SCONES BREAD OR PASTRY?
When you take your first bite of one of these warm Rhubarb Scones, you might wonder if a scone is bread or is it a type of pastry? It's actually a bit of both! You certainly could call it a type of bread or biscuit, but the texture and sweetness definitely borders on pastry - even more so when sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with a sweet glaze.
It's safe to say that it is both, and neither! The best scones should have a little more density than bread, a little less sweetness than pastry, but still have the best qualities of both - just light and fluffy, and just sweet enough to be delicious, especially warm from the oven!
Scone baking has also become quite creative - you'll find cheese, fruit, herbed and spiced-up scones, and even scones that have a filling. The tartness of rhubarb is similar to a cranberry – perfect for tossing into a scone! Whether you make them plain, sweet or savory, we're all in for warm, fresh-baked scones!
WHAT EXACTLY IS RHUBARB?
RHUBARB SCONE TIPS, TRICKS & VARIATIONS:
1 cup chopped rhubarb (chopped fine)
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups (281g) all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted cold butter (cut in small cubes or pieces)
1/2 cup cold buttermilk (or heavy cream)
Sparkling Sugar (to sprinkle on top if desired)
VANILLA BEAN GLAZE:
¾ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
2 Tablespoons heavy cream (or more if necessary)
HOW I MAKE THESE:
RECIPE TIPS, TRICKS & VARIATIONS:
Original recipe created by Snowflakes & Coffeecakes; published April 2022.
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