Lisa often hears people say they "aren't big on scones." Her response? You just haven't had a good scone yet. If you haven't had a good scone yet, it is absolutely worth going out of your way to try one of Blue Sky's. They suffer from neither of the two most common scone calamities: dryness and density. In fact, these scones have a downright moist and fluffy interior with the kind of crumbly crust you can only get with lots of butter. The scone itself is not sweet—in fact, it's similar in taste and texture to a drop biscuit—so the berries provide a tart sweetness that isn't overwhelming.
Blue Sky uses the same basic recipe for all of its scones, and it's a simple one. With only a handful of ingredients, it's important to get exactly the right amount of each. Here, Lisa starts by measuring out the flour.
Mixing Dry Ingredients
As in any classic scone recipe, the dry ingredients are mixed together first.
Pile o' Butter
Next up, a whole mess of butter. One of the secrets to Blue Sky's ultra-fluffy scones is ice-cold butter. If you've ever wondered what two pounds of cubed butter looks like (and really, who hasn't?), here's your answer.
Lisa holds up a handful of what the mixture of the dry ingredients should look like after the butter is just lightly incorporated.
The last ingredient to be added is the only wet ingredient: heavy cream.
Lisa barely lets the mixer move the ingredients around before reaching in to clean off the beater and sides of the bowl. As she teaches her employees, over-mixing is a big concern when making scones as well as pie crusts. That's one reason she teaches these two desserts separately from cakes, which require that the butter and sugar be creamed together by the mixer for minutes on end.
The dough is done the second it comes together into a shaggy, butter-studded mass. Though Lisa doesn't have a background in professional baking, she grew up making cakes and brownies from scratch with her mother, who never used a pre-made mix and insisted on baking everything from scratch. Lisa said she hated it when she was growing up, but naturally she has developed the same dedication now that she bakes every day.
Sheet of Scones
Lisa evenly distributes the bowlful of dough over a sheet tray before adding the berries.
Covered in Berries
Lisa freezes the berries before pressing them into the dough so they keep their shape while baking.
Cutting Out the Scones
As Lisa sliced her way through the sheet of scones, she admitted, "I should be measuring. I always yell at people when they do this without measuring."
After a night in the freezer, these scones will be baked fresh in this oven in the morning.
The Garden Plot
Blue Sky rents a 4' x 10' plot in a Peterson Garden Project lot located next to the Montrose Brown Line stop for only $65 a season.
The garden supplies the cafe with basil, peppers, tomatoes, rosemary, and chives, which make their way into the bakery's scones, sandwiches, and quiches.
"I have a feeling a lot of pesto is in our future," Lisa said as she picked the leaves off of a few strong basil plants.