Leave a basket of these scones out for guests at any brunch or breakfast gathering.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar into a large bowl. Stir in poppy seeds and lemon zest.
In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, butter, and buttermilk.
Pour liquid into dry ingredients, and combine with a few swift strokes. Turnout dough onto a lightly floured board and knead once or twice. Pat out to 3/4 inch thick; cut into rounds using a 3-inch cutter. Reroll scraps and cut again until used up.
Place scones a few inches apart on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
The night before, mix the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients separately; refrigerate the latter. When ready to bake, just combine the two.