If you’re a barista, you’ve likely made a lot of London Fog Lattes. And if you aren’t lucky enough to be surrounded by steam wands and coffee grounds, it’s a very simple and incredibly delicious drink. It’s frothy milk steamed with vanilla, poured into a warm mug and steeped with Earl Grey tea. This creamy delicious beverage translates to the equivalent of being wrapped in your favorite, most fluffy blanket, straight outta the dyer. It’s warms, it’s fuzzy feeling, it’s got Hygee written all over it. Black tea, lavender, and vanilla all spun together, fit for a drizzly, London (fog) day.
After our friends over at Araceli Farms told us a care package with culinary Lavender was en route, I was instantly inspired to make something to honor one of my all-time favorite drinks. And what more perfect to pair with a latte named after an infamous British city, but a British baked good, the scone?!
This scone recipe is a bit more involved than others. It calls for you to infuse your butter with the earl grey tea and lavender. Why did I choose to do this? Frankly, I’m a snob about some (most) of the recipes I bake, and I refused to make scones without using buttermilk. In my book, there’s no comparison to the flavor and texture buttermilk brings to a biscuit. And while I wanted the more subtle flavor profile of the early grey and lavender via steeping it, you can’t steep buttermilk. You heat it, it curdles, it’s no Bueno. So, I used the hot tip from Araceli Farms themselves, and used butter* to steep vs milk. I believe this is the critical component that creates an aromatic but beautifully well-balanced scone. The addition of lemon zest develops a bright tone in the pastry, while the lemon drizzle adds acidity, lifting the savory notes. I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! It’s well worth the effort.
Due to the nature of fats, you will need to start off with more butter than this recipe calls for in order to steep your tea and lavender. I started with one cup of butter and was able to squeeze out just over ½ cup in the end. I reformed my infused fats for the ½ cup needed in this recipe in an ice cube tray and if worked like a charm.
London Fog White Chocolate Scone
For the infused butter:
-1 cup unsalted butter
-7 Tbs Culinary Lavender (I used Araceli Farms Royal Velvet)
-6 Tbs Loose leaf Earl Grey Tea
For the scones:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup earlygrey/ lavender infused butter, cold
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- 3 tsp culinary lavender (I used Araceli Farms Royal Velvet)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 -3/4 cup white chocolate, chips or chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
For the glaze:
-1 cup powdered sugar
-3-5 Tbs lemon juice (depends on how think you would like your glaze to be)
For the infused butter:
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter until just liquid.
- Add the tea leaves.
- Continue heating the mixture for about 5 minutes on low heat.
- Remove from the heat and allow to stand for another 5 minutes or until the butter is discernibly tinted by the tea leaves.
- Pour the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the tea leaves and then discarding them. This is the part where you will undoubtedly end up with some butter that you can’t get off of the leaves. I encourage you to press as hard as you can, but not to obsess about lost butter – it’s for a good cause.
- Let the butter come to room temperature and then use it as you would regular butter in your baked goods.
For the scones:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.
- In a large bowl whisk flour, sugar, lavender, salt and baking powder. Cut cold infused butter into 1 tablespoon pieces and add to the bowl. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut butter into the flour until you have irregular pieces of butter in the flour that range from pea-size to dime-size. Do not overmix or scones will be tough.
- In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk, vanilla, lemon zest, and 1 egg. Add to dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined.
- Put contents of bowl on a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands 6-8 times or until the dough just holds together in a ragged ball. Add small amounts of flour, if needed.
- With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Fold the dough into thirds, like a business letter (with a dough scraper if you have one) and then fold into thirds again to form an approximate 4 inch square. Transfer to a floured plate or baking sheet and chill in freezer for 5 minutes.
- Return dough to a floured work surface and roll into a 12 inch square again. Sprinkle evenly with white chocolate. Press filling gently into the dough. Using a dough scraper, roll the dough up to form a tight log. Lay the log seam side down and press log down into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle. Using a sharp or pastry cutter, cut the rectangle in half, then each half in half for 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form a total of 8 triangles. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and then put in the freezer for 10 minutes. You can also freeze for completely 30 minutes and place in a freezer bag to bake some or all for later.
- Remove scones from freezer and then brush tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown 15-17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool at least 10 minutes.
For the glaze:
- In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Either fill into plastic bag and cut tip for even drizzle or drizzle with spoon over top of cooled scones. Enjoy.