Debunking the lemonade scone myth

It’s been a long time coming. I haven’t made a post in a very long time. Well, maybe that’ll change back to how it used to be!

For my fiancée (now wife!) I wanted to bake scones. She loves scones, she said, so I set out to make the perfect scone for her.

I started out baking a traditional scone, dense and unrisen, and while it was edible, it was far from what I’d call perfect. I made some revisions to ratios, but still, nothing was really saying to me, “I am perfect. Eat me.”

A friend (my physiotherapist, actually) gushed about lemonade scones. “Lemonade scones are the best, they’re so light and fluffy” I was told, so I decided to give it a go.

The lemonade gave it a weird flavour. There was already some sugar in the recipe, and the lemonade made it very sweet. However, the texture was light and fluffy on the inside, while having that satisfying crunch on the outside, as I was assured. However, I didn’t like the flavour that lemonade provided.

Next, I wondered: was it the fizziness of the liquid that was making it airy inside?

I replaced the lemonade with soda water: all the fizz but none of the sugar. I still had the lovely light and fluffy texture, but no weirdness from the lemonade. I was quite satisfied, but then I thought: do I really have to buy soda water every time? What if it wasn’t the fizziness of the liquid causing the lightness and fluffiness, but the fact that there was a lower ratio of a viscous liquid (traditionally, buttermilk, less traditionally, cream) and a higher ratio of a less viscous liquid?

So I replaced the soda water with just plain water. The result? The bubbles do nothing. It’s the fact that there is less buttermilk/cream, and more water.

Finally … perfect.

Perfect scones

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 55g sugar
  • A pinch (0.5tsp) of salt
  • 112.5g (125ml) of whipping cream
  • 125g water
  • A dash of milk, for brushing (I use soy milk, because we don’t drink cow’s milk)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced)—you might need to investigate lowering or increasing this temperature, and choose a higher or lower spot in your oven, depending on how accurate your oven temperature is. You will need to find the perfect time, heat and position so that your scones are not burnt on the bottom, not too dry, and not undercooked
  2. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and salt
  3. Add cream and water and mix to form a soft dough, knead lightly to combine
  4. Because the dough is too sticky, you cannot roll to thickness and use a cookie cutter, rather use spoons like making quenelles, should be about 10 scones
  5. Arrange on tray and brush tops with milk
  6. Bake for around 15 minutes or until lightly browned (I found longer than 18 minutes would begin to dry the scones out too much, so increase the temp or change the position in the oven rather than increase the time)
  7. Serve warm with your favourite jam and whipped cream

Let me know what you think!

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2 responses to Debunking the lemonade scone myth

  1. Grant Malcolm says:

    Fantastic Ming. Will give these a go. I generally make mine with sour cream instead of cream. Will try water instead of buttermilk.

    :-)

  2. Ming Ming says:

    Hopefully you’ll enjoy it! Yezi loves them, and we’ll be making a batch tomorrow :)

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