|Specks of orange zest and cranberries|
What do I like about these scones? They are buttery, crumbly, moist and the kitchen smell like Christmas as they bake because of the addition of orange zest and cranberries. It is a one bowl recipe and mixing was done using my hands, therefore washing up afterwards was kept to a minimal. The scones can be made ahead and freezes well.
As the ingredients are simple, using good, quality butter and cream is vital. Good, quality ingredients will give you a good bake and delicious scones.
Adapted from American Test Kitchen Cookbook
(makes 9 x 4 cm round pieces)
280g/(2 cups) all purpose flour
15g/(1 Tbsp) baking powder
40g/(3 Tbsp) sugar
3g/(1/2 tsp) salt
80g/(1/2 cup) dried cranberries, diced
zest of 1 orange
70g/(5 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cold and cubed (at least 83% butter fat)
200 - 220 ml/(1 cup) cold heavy/whipping cream (35% - 38% butter fat)
Steps to scones:
- In a large bowl, measure the flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest and salt. Whisk the flour mixture with a wire whisk to uniformly combine the dry ingredients.
- Incorporate the ice cold, cubed butter into the flour mixture by rubbing or smearing the butter between your fingertips (between thumb, index and middle finger) as you toss them around in the flour mixture. Work fast rubbing through all the big lumps of butter and the mixture should resemble coarse bread crumbs. You can use 2 butter knives to carry out this step instead of using your fingers.
- Mix in the diced cranberries.
- Stir in the cold cream with a spatula or fork until the dough comes together.
- Transfer the dough onto the table top and give it a few gentle knead (less than 10 kneads) to make it come together as a dough.
- Lightly flour the surface of the table top and press the dough into a 3 - 4 cm thick round disc.
- Lightly flour the surface of the dough and the 4 cm diameter round cutter and cut into pieces. Place the cut pieces, spacing them 3 cm apart, onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
- Press the remaining scraps together and cut more pieces until the dough is used up.
- OR you can use a knife to cut the scones into 10 equal wedges if you do not own a cookie cutter.
- At this stage, the scones can be frozen and stored in an air tight container for up to a week. Just bake them frozen but you need to add 3 - 5 minutes of extra bake time if doing so.
- Space the scones 3 cm apart and bake in a preheated oven at 220 degrees C or 428 degrees F, on the middle rack of the oven, for 12 - 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden brown.
To get the scones to rise high and mighty, flour the cutter well and with a swift downward motion press the cutter into the dough. Do not twist the cutter as you push it into the dough as this will hamper the rise of the scones.
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