Friday, April 1, 2011

Low-Fat Strawberry Scones

Have you ever fallen in love with an ingredient?

I like to have fresh fruit with fat free yogurt for breakfast. A few weeks ago, my supermarket didn’t have the yogurt I usually buy; in fact, the only fat-free yogurt they weren’t out of was Greek yogurt, which I’d heard much about but had never used. So I got that.

If you’ve had Greek yogurt, you undoubtedly remember its wonderfully rich texture and intense flavor, even when it’s the fat-free kind.  And if you haven’t had it, you’re missing something good. One taste and I knew this was more than something to mix with fruit for breakfast. It was a special ingredient, a valuable addition to the arsenal of anyone who pursues the challenging task of low fat baking.

And so we come to low fat strawberry scones: low fat because they’re made with egg substitute, butter substitute, and the fat-free Greek yogurt.

One of the keys to low-fat baking is an understanding that there’s more to using butter-substitutes than simply using them instead of butter. The nuances I’ve learned are discussed in more detail in an earlier post (Impossible Pie Crust), but for now we’ll emphasize keeping it not just cold, but very cold. Cold (as you would keep butter) means refrigerator; very cold (as least as I’m using it for butter substitute) means freezer.  For related reasons, it’s best to make and work with the dough at a brisk pace; the longer you wait, the warmer your ingredients will become.

And what if you can’t find Greek yogurt? A good substitute for that can be made from regular fat free yogurt. Just create a make-shift filter by putting one or two paper towels in a strainer (coffee filters work too), pour your regular yogurt in and let it drain overnight, covered by plastic wrap. The amount of yogurt will reduce by as much as half once it is drained, and you’ll be left with something a good bit thicker and more intensely flavored that the yogurt you started with.

Another item in this recipe that benefits from explanation are the strawberries I use: they’re the frozen kind. It’s a lesson I learned years ago when making a muffin recipe I’d gotten out of a magazine and was appalled that it called for frozen strawberries. Frozen? Not in MY muffins. So fresh strawberries it was. And the muffins were awful, the cake tasting nothing like strawberries. Humbled by the experience, I went back and took out the improvements, making the muffins again but this time with the frozen strawberries called for in the recipe. I learned that frozen are not inferior to fresh, they just “bleed” in a different way that makes them useful for baked items in which you want the fruit flavor to permeate the cake.

One final note: as you’ll see in the photo, yes, I do a Jersey-style application for the glaze. If you want to do a more elegant squirt bottle or drizzle thing, feel free.

This recipe makes about eight 4” triangular scones (these size in the photo), or about sixteen 2-1/2” triangular scones.
While preheating your oven to 375 degrees, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, ¼ cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Mix in 6 tablespoons of butter substitute (chilled in the freezer) and blend by hand or in a mixer until pea-size pieces form.

Make a well in the flour mixture and add ½ cup of very cold fat-free Greek yogurt (chilled in the freezer) and 2 egg substitute eggs. Mix the wet ingredients in the well completely, then combine with the dry ingredients to form a dough.

Dust ½ cup of diced, thawed frozen strawberries with flour, and fold into the dough.

On a floured surface, roll the dough out to about ¾” thick and cut into triangles about 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” x 3”. Place about 1” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 18-20 minutes, turning the baking sheet half-way. Once the scones have finished baking, let them cool on a rack for 30 minutes.

While the scones are cooling, make the glaze by combining the 1 tablespoon of pureed, thawed frozen strawberries with 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar until it is thick (but spreadable) and smooth.

After the scones have cooled, apply the glaze and wait 30 minutes for the glaze to get firm.
Hope you enjoy them!

For a cookbook-style, notebook-ready copy of this recipe (or any other recipe you see on this site), just let me know you’d like one and I’ll send it along.

See you next week! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. There is nothing like a good scone and these look yummy! I'll have to try them sometime.

  2. Thank you, Martha! You bake such wonderful things yourself, so I would love to know you made them. (I was so happy with these that there's another batch on the counter right now, ready to be glazed, for my sons to take back to school. After we have some breakfast, that is.)

  3. I love homemade scones! With strawberries..mmm..that's just heavenly!

  4. I have never met a strawberry I did not like.

  5. Angie and Mary, I could not agree more! Glad you like it!

  6. It looks deliciously good (if that's even a word..hehe)

  7. It is now, Rachael! Thank you for your nice thought!

  8. ben, these look incredible! i really, really appreciate your depth of explanation as to why you use certain ingredients - not only is it enjoyable to read, but i've learned something! :D come back to delightfully dowling in about 35 minutes & link this recipe up to mangia mondays!

  9. Thank you so much for your wonderful thought, Kristin. I am glad to see you here! I would be honored to link this to your site and am heading over right now. See you on the other side! :-)

  10. yummy! i do fall in love with ingredients sometimes and i get on an ingredient kick for a while.
    i loveeee greek yogurt!! i'm sure it tastes wonderful in scones! great recipe

  11. Thank you very much, Katie, and welcome! I am with you about the joys of exploring different facets of an interesting ingredient. Even if it is something many have used before, I figure if I did not use it myself, that makes it a new ingredient. I look forward to seeing you here again!

  12. these look spectacular! and i am super on board with anything reduced fat, ha! lovely !! again, just looks amazing, strawberries should always look that good! thanks for sharing :)

  13. These sound wonderful! I love strawberries, and am a huge fan of Greek style yogurt. The topping looks seriously fantastic.

  14. Thanks, Meaghan and Eva! The challenge of making things low-fat and still tasty, especially when it comes to baked goods, is part of the fun. I had made a couple of attempts at strawberry scones, but it was the "discovery" of Greek yogurt that made it work. I am definitely looking forward to exploring this fascinating taste and texture more, and I strongly suspect you'll be seeing it in future recipes!

  15. This looks great Ben. As usual! Another great idea is to puree fresh herbs into Greek yogurt for an amazing sauce that is is wonderful with lamb. I've tried doing that with regular yogurt and it does not work nearly as well as with the Greek.


  16. Thanks, Sandra. Your idea sounds great. And I can definitely see where regular yogurt wouldn't be nearly as good as Greek yogurt there...that wonderful texture makes all the difference.

  17. just wanted to let you know that i featured your recipe on "5 favorites friday" at delightfully dowling!


  18. Thank you so very much, Kristin! I appreciate your kind thought, and hope readers here will check out your great blog.

  19. Hello Ben,
    Thanks for adding my banner for "Cooking Up a Storm All Over The World!" I don't know how long it has been on your page, but thanks!
    I love your scone recipe here and would love you to share the recipe as a re-post some time.
    On Cooking Up a Storm All Over The World, you can simply copy and paste it from your site and then go to the "add blog post" button and hit the html icon and then it will allow you to paste it up!
    It worked for me, even with the photos!

    You have so many here that I want to try. I am here in a hotel in Huntington Beach and you make me want to go home to start baking!

    I am glad you had a nice birthday!

    Thanks again for promoting my cooking site!

    Polly Motzko

    1. You're most welcome, Polly. I've had that up here for a while now. Glad to do it!