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Friday, February 18, 2011

Yummiest Scones

What’s for breakfast?   Scones! 

Recipes for scones have evolved and been passed down through families for hundreds of years.  Everyone has their favourite; here is mine, a recipe from my daughter. 

It’s her version of a recipe originally found in the November 1998 issue of Bon Appétit.  She sent me this scone recipe with her comments and changes in bold.   

Cranberry-Orange Scones

3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar (I put a bit more)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (I put a bit more)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon grated orange peel (or lemon)
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
¾ cup dried cranberries (or sweet cherries, chopped dates, currents, raisins or any other dried fruit)
1 cup chilled buttermilk (or milk or heavy cream, whatever is in the fridge)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper (I butter it lightly and sprinkle a bit of flour.)  Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into large bowl.  (I throw everything into the food processor.) 

Mix in orange peel.  Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Mix in dried cranberries (still just adding stuff to the food processor.)  Gradually add buttermilk, tossing with fork until moist clumps form (before adding the milk, I put the dough in a large bowl.) 

Turn dough out into lightly floured work surface.  (I just usually do this right in the bowl with a bit of flour.)  Knead briefly to bind dough, about 4 turns. 

Form dough into 1-inch-thick round.  Cut into 8 wedges.  Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet spacing 2 inches apart. 

Bake until tops of scones are golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Let stand on baking sheet 10 minutes.  Serve scones warm or at room temperature.

I add chopped preserved orange peel with the dried cranberries for more intense orange flavour. 

I prefer to serve these fragrant and warm, straight out of the oven.  Split down the middle and spread with butter, they are meltingly delicious with rich dark coffee. 

These scones partner well with tart lemon curd, silken clotted cream, thick cut orange marmalade or homemade strawberry jam.  Splendidly yummy!

Want decadence?   Stir together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of orange juice and a dash of vanilla in a small bowl.  Stir in additional orange juice, a little at a time, to achieve a drizzling consistency.  Drizzle over the warm scones before serving.

Apparently, leftover scones freeze well; I’ve never had a chance to try.   Enjoy!

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