Cheesy Kale Scones

September 17, 2015

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This recipe comes from Briana Holt at Tandem Coffee and Bakery in Portland, Maine. If you have a kitchen scale, definitely use it for this recipe! Also, be sure to use a very high-fat butter—it will make the difference in the final result.Posie (Harwood) Brien

Makes: 12 large scones

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces very good butter (use 82% or 86% milk fat if you can find it)
  • 727 1/2 grams (6 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 18 1/2 grams (4 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 6 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) baking soda
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 6 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) salt
  • 4 ounces tender, fresh kale
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup grated pecorino or Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup currants (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold, well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 egg
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Cut the butter up into small cubes (about 1/2-inch squares) and chill in the refrigerator. The butter should be quite cold but not frozen.
  2. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add them to a food processor with the cold butter and pulse until the mixture has large, pea-sized chunks of butter. **You can do this step by hand and cut the butter in with a fork or a pastry cutter, but the food processor is infinitely easier!**
  3. Refrigerate the butter and flour mixture while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Chop up the kale into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle lemon juice over the kale and massage it into the kale a bit.
  5. In a skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until they are just golden brown and smell fragrant.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  7. While the oven heats up, remove the butter/flour mixture from the refrigerator. Mix in the kale, grated cheese, toasted pine nuts, and currants (if using). Reserve a small amount of the flaky sea salt and black pepper for topping, and mix the rest into the dough.
  8. Pour 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk over the mixture and toss gently with your hands to hydrate the dough evenly. Turn the dough out onto a counter or work surface. Using your hands, start bringing the shaggy mound of dough together, drizzling a little more buttermilk over it here and there if you see dry spots. You might need the additional 1/2 cup of buttermilk, but don't add it all until you've mixed the dough a bit—often, it looks dry but will come together nicely.
  9. You want to bring the mixture together firmly but avoid mashing or pressing it down. Try to fold the mass of dough over itself and then turn it a quarter and repeat, even though it may seem a shaggy mess. It should take about 6 folds and turns to make a fairly well-incorporated ball of dough.
  10. Divide the dough into two pieces and press each piece gently into a flat, round disc about 7 inches in diameter. Lightly beat the egg and brush it over the the dough.
  11. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the remaining black pepper and flaky sea salt, and some more grated cheese if you like.
  12. Using a very sharp knife, slice each disc into 6 even triangles. Transfer the triangles to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.
  13. Bake at 400° F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° F and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. The scones are finished when they are golden brown all over the surface.

More Great Recipes:
Bread|Quick Bread|Currant|Kale|Pine Nut|Lemon Juice|Buttermilk|Bake|Make Ahead|Breakfast|Snack

Reviews (15) Questions (1)

15 Reviews

selena July 10, 2018
6 cups of flour for 12 scones? they must be huge!
 
Author Comment
Posie (. July 10, 2018
They are!
 
Emma L. March 6, 2018
These are so, so good. Thank you, Posie! I can't wait to use this recipe as inspiration for future scones.
 
EmilyC December 29, 2016
Made these today for brunch with friends and they were fantastic! Like others, I halved the recipe and made 8 large scones.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. December 29, 2016
Yay! Saw your photo, they looked so great!
 
Ceege May 11, 2016
I plan on using this recipe for a ladies brunch I am planning. A couple of questions......I plan on making them smaller size as someone else mentioned. Can these be made in advance, frozen and thawed and still retain their crunchiness? Also, do I serve them with something i.e. butter, etc. or are they best served plain. Thank you for your help.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. May 11, 2016
Yes you can definitely make them in advance! You can either fully bake them and freeze them, and then just pop them in the oven briefly to warm them, or you can make the dough, shape them, and freeze them -- then bake them straight from the oven (they'll just need a few extra minutes of baking time). They are pretty rich so they don't NEED butter, but honestly I would never say no to a swipe of butter on a baked good. Enjoy!
 
MsDivinaLoca March 3, 2016
First: Dear sweet mother of pearl, these are delicious! Don't get freaked out about the sugar. Everything works beautifully together. They came out perfectly cooked - but there was some drama. All the ingredients with weights were weighed. The butter was 85% butterfat. The only sub I made was chopped walnuts for pine nuts.<br />After I got them in the oven, 6 scones per sheet pan, and opened the door halfway through cooking to 'switch and twirl' the pans, there was a HUGE amount of butter and what I think was kale liquid leaking out. I freaked out a little (thinking about all of the money I spent on the butter) and about how my soggy-bottomed scones were going to suck. <br />However, I soldiered on. I temped the scones after the 2nd half of the baking time and stuck them back in for a few minutes. There was still liquid in the bottom of the sheet pan although less than when I first checked. When they were the right temp, I used tongs to move them to a wire rack to cool. The bottoms came little crispy (perfect as far as I was concerned) and the opposite of soggy ...but why all of the liquid leaching out?<br />I can think of two possibilities. One was a straight up mistake on my part (I accidentally pulled out and used bread flour instead of AP flour. I blame morning), and one I'm not sure was a mistake (I weighed my kale AFTER I washed, dried and removed the stems). <br />Delicious! The flavors of the nuts, kale, cheese and currants along with the differences in textures were wonderful.
 
SCalabretta December 30, 2015
<br />These were fabulous. I also cut the recipe in half and got 8 large scones. Didn't add the currants but otherwise followed as it is. I'll definitely be making these again!
 
nicole.lee October 27, 2015
I swapped in golden raisins for the currants, and they were delicious. Easy to make and well worth the effort!
 
rrcooks October 10, 2015
Just made these and did the same as Menena below - half the dough and 8 pieces. Delicious! Might add a bit more kale next time. Thanks to Briana at Tandem Coffee for sharing.
 
Menena September 27, 2015
These were delicious! Light and fluffy. Very filling though, I made half the dough and divided them in 8 pieces. One per person was plenty. Did not add the currents but I think that could be a nice complement. Maybe even small bits of apricots. Yummy!
 
Erica September 23, 2015
I've been trying to perfect "mini" pastries in order to feed larger amounts of people from one recipe. Do you think these can be divided into 4 discs to make smaller scones? If so, how long would you suggest baking them?
 
Author Comment
Posie (. September 24, 2015
Yes, absolutely. They actually will probably need just as long to bake, but I'd start checking them after 15 minutes (10 minutes at 400 degrees and then 5 at 350). Keep checking every 5 minutes until they are golden brown.
 
pistolwink September 19, 2015
Just made these, currants and all, and they're wonderful. They're calorie bombs, but even just half of one scone is pretty satisfying.