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It was just another day at the office. Pot of beans here. Tray of granola there. Giant salad. Cheese board! And then, out of nowhere, like a sunshower or rainbow or unicorn, scones. Scurries from desk toward snack table. To know me is to know I love scones. I love scones! This was one of my “reasons” to study abroad in Scotland. Here in the States, though, they have a tough reputation (dense, dry, crumbly) and they’re tough to do well. Unless you have a reliable recipe.
These scones were oversized—so, perfectly sized—marbled with greens, stuffed with cheese, crispy, salty, peppery crusts, fluffy, tender, pillowy centers. I carried one around and interrogated my co-workers (you know, cheerily). Are these yours? I asked one editor. Yours? I asked another. Yours? I asked another. But no one claimed them.
To the test kitchen: Who made these? I asked. Where did they come from? Why are they here? For a Shop photoshoot, they explained. It’s a recipe on the site. On the site? Like, our site? Yeah, they’re our contributor Posie Harwood’s cheesy kale scones. I mean, of course, right? To know Posie is to know all the best scone recipes. Over the years, she’s made sure that Food52 is chock-full of them. (Thanks, Posie!)
I printed the recipe and started scribbling all over it. Posie opted for kale and pecorino, plus dried currants and itty-bitty pine nuts. What if I repurposed the real estate that the fruit and nuts are taking up, and put that toward more greens, more cheese? And what if I changed up the greens and cheese? Say, to spinach and feta, like spanakopita took a wrong turn, got separated from filo dough, and ended up somewhere else. But liked it there!
When I started thinking about spanakopita, I knew I wanted to get some alliums involved (scallions, garlic) and fresh herbs (dill) and lemon (zest). I love the way they turned out. In my own kitchen, then again in our test kitchen. Of course, this time I was expecting, even awaiting them. Call it a long con.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (360 grams)
- 1/4 cup sugar (50 grams)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced or Microplaned
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (170 grams), cubed, cold
- 2 1/2 cups baby spinach (90 grams)
- 1 cup crumbled feta (156 grams)
- 4 scallions, finely chopped (heaping 1/2 cup, 50 grams)
- 1/2 cup chopped dill (9 grams)
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more for topping
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed
- 1 large egg, beaten with a fork
- 2 pinches flaky salt
What’s your favorite savory scone? Tell us about it in the comments!