Megan : Lemon Scones

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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while Mary is on maternity leave, this guest post is brought to you by Megan!

It was my Sophomore year at Wheaton College and I was enrolled in the scariest class I would ever take: speech.

I hate, let me re-emphasize, I HATE public speaking. It paralyzes me, causes me to speak a million miles a minute, and stand in peculiar poses. I was that girl that cried on my way home feeling as though I failed every speech and made a complete fool of myself, so as you might guess, I had no thought whatsoever that I would meet my husband while suffering each Monday night in class, but somehow I did.

In college I loved playing the role of CPO fairy. I would fill my friends mailboxes with homemade treats in hopes that it would brighten their day. Tommy (my now husband) got added to that list, as he was an encouragement in speech class and we spent the few minutes before and after class occasionally talking. One week when I baked a pumpkin cake and prepared pieces to send to friends, I included Tommy. He thought he had caught my eye and I was making a move the day a piece of pumpkin cake showed up in his CPO box. Little did he know that about 10 other people received a piece as well.

His friends told him when a girl make that kind of gesture you have to ask her out. He started simple and we went to coffee. And that’s how it all began. With that piece of cake.

It’s not all that surprising to me that I ended up dating the guy who I would marry because of a piece of cake. So much of my life revolves around food.

After getting my undergrad, Tommy and I got married (and had the best wedding photographer I could have honestly asked for!) and then I enrolled in culinary school to pursue a degree in baking and pastry arts. It was amazing. While in school I worked in a bakery and did some serious freelance recipe development and fell even more in love with the career path I had chosen.

This summer Tommy and I moved down South to Birmingham, Alabama (more on that to come) so he could begin seminary. Just this January I started at Southern Progress working in the test kitchen for Oxmoor House. I’ve only been here a short while, but I’m already loving it. Getting to make and style food for cookbooks like Christmas with Southern Living and others has been a pleasure
and a fantastic learning experience.

Whenever I tell people the story about how Tommy and I met, most ask about the cake and if I still make it for him. Sadly, I have never remade that cake… but it’s only because I love making new things and trying different recipes. The pumpkin cake was good, but if I had known it was going to be my first real impression on my future husband I would have probably made something more
impressive, like the lemon scones below.

Lemon Scones
makes 8 scones

Every year I pick a cookbook and like to work through it. That doesn’t mean I make everything it in, or that I only use that cookbook, just that I try my hardest to get the most from it. In 2012 that cookbook was Home Baked Comfort. I can’t tell you how accessible and delicious everything was in this cookbook, including this scone recipe. They’re quick to throw together and pack a serious lemon punch. Serve them alongside any jam you love or for more tartness, some lemon curd.

3 T granulated sugar
2 lemons, grated for zest and juiced
2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 32 small chunks
3/4 cup (6 fl oz) heavy cream, extra for brushing
coarse sugar, such as sugar in the raw

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until everything is combined.
3. Add the butter and toss to coat. Using a pastry cutter, or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs, about the size of peas, remain.
4. Make a well in the middle. Pour the heavy cream and lemon juice in the dry mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the dough comes together. Knead a couple of
times with your hands to form a ball.
5. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently press it into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the circle into 8 equal wedges.
6. Brush some heavy cream over the tops of the scones then sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Place the scones on the baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart.
7. Bake the scones for 15-17 minutes, or until lightly browned.

After earning a degree in political science Megan decided to pursue her dreams and become a pastry chef.  She and Tommy moved to Chicago shortly after their wedding where she enrolled in pastry school at Kendall College. Upon completion they settled in the south where Megan works in the test kitchens at Southern Progress Corporation. See Megan + Tommy’s wedding here and visit Megan on tumblr to follow her cooking career!

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