Tartine's Fruit Scones and Some Technical Difficulties


I'm gonna level with you here. These are without a doubt, the most complicated scones I've ever made. They require you to have loved and cared for a sourdough starter long enough that you can make a leaven the night before you even think about making the scone dough. The recipe calls for three types of flour and homemade creme fraiche or kefir although, I took the shortcut and just bought mine at the grocery store. Then there is the mixing, chilling, folding, chilling, loving, and whispering of gentle sweet nothings (that last one isn't written in the recipe, but I imagine it would probably help) that is required to make all of the flaky layers that make these scones great. That said, they are quite delicious and super tangy from the lemon zest and leaven and the combination of flours gives these a really nice complex flavor. I imagine that a couple of you out there are crazy like me and might like make a classic treat in a new way so I've provided the lengthy recipe below. If you try the it please let me know what you think in the comments!

A little programing note: I know things have been quieter than usual around here and it's because my well-loved film cameras are feeling a little under the weather. One has a crazy light leak and the other is leaving lovely stripes on all of my photos (which you can see in this post) so they are heading to Nippon Photo Clinic for a thorough cleaning and check up. Hopefully they will be back in action for when my favorite fruits and veggies start to hit the markets.

In the meantime you can keep up with me on instagram @yossyarefi where I post daily and

Food52 where I write a column called Project Dessert every other week.

Thanks and Happy Spring!

Tartine's Fruit Scones

from Tartine No. 3

yield, 12 large or 24 small scones

As printed in the book, this recipe requires an obscene amount of lemon zest (10 lemons worth!) which I kind of assumed was a misprint, so I used 2 lemons worth and found the scones plenty zingy. I also added a Tablespoon of vanilla extract to the recipe, but in the end I think the sourdough and lemon zest masked the vanilla flavor so feel free to leave it out.

306 g/ 1 cup plus 5T cold unsalted butter

312 g/ 1 1/3 cups kefir or creme fraiche

306 g/ 1 1/2 cups leaven*

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (optional)

306 g/ 1 pint berries

341 g/ 2 1/3 cups pastry flour (I used all purpose)

204 g/ 1 3/4 cups oat flour

136 g/ 1 cup plus 1T whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon baking powder

102 g/ 1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons sea salt

zest of 10 (or a couple) lemons

1 large egg

crunchy sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

1. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch sized pieces and place in the freezer to chill. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the leaven, vanilla and kefir until well mixed and place into the freezer to chill while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. Wash, hull and roughly chop the berries (only chop if you are using strawberries).

3. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Dump the flour mixture onto a work surface or countertop and spread it into a rectangle about 1/3-inch deep. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour and toss gently to coat the butter with flour. Flour a rolling pin and begin rolling the butter into the flour. When the butter starts flattening into long, thin pieces use a bench scraper to fold the mixture back over itself into a rectangle so that is the same size that you started with. Repeat the rolling and scraping three or four times. Work quickly so the butter stays as cold as possible.

4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the kefir-leaven mixture all at once. Use a bench scraper to gently fold the flour into the liquid. Keep folding the mixture until it is a shaggy mass, then shape it into a rectangle about 15-inches x 21-inches. Fold the dough in thirds, then roll it back into a rectangle. Repeat the folding and rolling process then transfer the dough to a baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.

5. Roll the dough back into a rectangle and scatter the berries on top. Use a bench scraper to fold the top, bottom, and sides of the dough over itself then roll it into an 18-inch x 15-inch rectangle about 1 1/2-inches thick. Cut the dough into 12 rectangles or 24 smaller shapes and place the cut scones onto the prepared baking sheets. Move the baking sheets to the oven and chill for 20 minutes or until firm.

6. While the scones are chilling beat the egg with a tiny pinch of salt. When the scones are chilled and ready to bake, remove them from the fridge, brush the tops with egg wash, and sprinkle with crunchy sugar. Bake until the tops are lightly browned, 25-35 minutes. Serve warm.

*to make the leaven combine 100 grams all purpose flour, 100 grams whole wheat flour, 200 grams warm water and 1 Tablespoon mature sourdough starter in a bowl, cover and let sit overnight.