From the Kitchen at Refreshing Mountain: Scone Recipe

Phil True
May 20, 2020

Food plays an important part in what we do here in the Refreshing Mountain Kitchen for the retreat guests that we serve.

As you are at home and probably cooking more than usual, I wanted to share with you a recipe that I have enjoyed making at my home. This recipe makes good use of items that you most likely have on hand.

The recipe is called and is one I’ve loved since I found it in a magazine and made it the first time. These scones are perfect as a companion for your morning coffee or as a mid-morning/afternoon snack.

Grandma Johnson Scones From The Kitchen At Refreshing Mountain

Grandma Johnson’s Scones

1 egg, lightly beaten

I cup sour cream

I tsp. baking soda

4 cups flour

1 cup white sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

1 cup butter

1 cup raisins (optional)

2 Tbsp. whipping cream

Coarse decorating sugar


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.

2. Whisk together egg, sour cream, and baking soda in a small bowl. Mix together flour, white sugar, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in sour cream mixture just until moistened. (if the mixture is too dry, you can stir in up to ½ cup milk.) Stir in raisins (if using).

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead briefly until nearly smooth, then divide in half. Roll or pat dough halves into 8-inch circles about ¾ thick. Cut each circle into 8 wedges, leaving a little space between each, on prepared baking sheets. Brush with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

4. Bake until golden brown on edges, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer scones onto a wire rack to cool.

Here are some variations that you can do with this recipe:

  • You can use dried cranberries or chocolate chips in place of the raisins. They both make for a delicious scone.
  • If you don’t have sour cream, you can substitute plain or Greek yogurt at a one to one ratio (for one cup of yogurt, mix one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice).
  • If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can substitute fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. For every ½ tsp of cream of tartar in a recipe, use 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Regular milk or half and half can be used in place of the whipping cream.
  • Lastly, for those who don’t have coarse decorating sugar on hand (like me), regular sugar works just fine.

This post was written by Wayne Martin, Kitchen Manager at Refreshing Mountain. For more information about the great food and experiences your retreat guest can expect, contact our team today!