And for that I apologize!
Work takes precedence in my life and now before I know it, we’re practically halfway through the year! Crumbs. This will change, I promise!
This post will be quick, with a recipe that I need to share for Marjory! I got a hankering for scones and tea tonight, so I ended up with Cream Tea at 10pm. Here’s the recipe, folks – it’s scaled old-school and not by weight, but everyone has measuring cups lying around, right?
Yield: 8 Generously Sized Wedges, but easily 10-12 rounds, depending on your cutter size
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup White Sugar
4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) Butter, unsalted
1/2 cup Cranberries, dried
3/4 cup Milk (2% or whole)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
Preheat your oven to 425˚F!
Sift (or whisk/stir) together the four dry ingredients. Sifting will result in a lighter product and ensures equal distribution of the leavening agent…but I’ll admit. I just quickly whisked mine about. This is one of those recipes that are a lot more rough and tumble as opposed to perfect and precise!
Whisk the egg, milk, and vanilla extract together, then stick that in the freezer! Not to freeze, of course, but having the ingredients as cold as possible = GOOD THINGS.
Cube the butter and drop it into the flour, and blend in with a pastry cutter or your hands. Be careful with the hands – you want to handle it as little as possible so you don’t melt the butter. Blend it in until the butter chunks are just about the size of peas, but not any further. Then, stir in the cranberries! Or currants. Or dried chopped apricots. Or cherries. Or… you get the idea.
Get that egg mixture out of the freezer and pour most of it into the dry ingredients. Reserve a few tablespoons of it! Mix the wet ingredients until it just barely comes together, then turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Fold and pat out until it all comes together – don’t knead it like bread! You want to work this dough as little as possible so that the gluten in the flour doesn’t develop. The last thing you want is a chewy scone. Blech. I then pat mine out into a round, about 1/2″ thick. I didn’t even bring the rolling pin out because 1) you’ll end up overworking it and melting the butter, and 2) that’s another thing to wash after!
I cut my round into eight slices (like a pizza), but now’s the time when you can whip out the biscuit cutter and make cute little rounds.
I lay the scones down on my silpat-lined baking sheet (parchment’s fine too!), and then I popped the whole thing in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill out. After that, get that remaining egg-milk mixture and brush it on the tops of the scones. I sprinkled some coarse sugar over mine as well, but that’s entirely up to you.
Finally, into the oven. Now, my wedges took about 12-13 minutes – if your scones are smaller, they’ll bake quicker, so I’d start checking at the 9-10 minute mark. They’ll be nice and golden on top (and underneath), and firm to the touch.
Let them cool for a few minutes… but not too long, because having your scone fresh and warm from the oven is the perfect vessel for cream tea.
Slather that baby with clotted cream, the jam of your choice, and I hope that you put the kettle on while they were baking… because now you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. 😀
The recipe is super basic, and is the perfect one to tweak – you can omit the cranberries altogether and have plain sweet scones! Or, like I mentioned above, use any other dried fruit in lieu. I’d be careful with fresh or frozen fruit, as they can get super wet and soggy on you… but they’re not impossible to use either.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER FLAVOURS TO THINK ABOUT:
- Dark Chocolate Chip (+ Cherry?)
- White Chocolate Chip (+ these cranberries, kicking it old school)
- Omit the fruit, but add the zest of a lemon and/or orange to the mixture
- Add some hazelnuts in there, bro
- Cook down some chopped apples with sugar and a scraped vanilla bean (like you’re making apple pie filling) and make apple pie scones like a boss
Oooooor… HALVE THE SUGAR AND DOUBLE THE SALT AND MAKE SAVOURY SCONES, DUDE.
- Roasted Garlic + Freshly Cracked Black Pepper + Old White Cheddar
- Any flavourful firm cheese would kick butt
- Rosemary! Thyme!
- Sundried Tomato + Basil + Pine Nut + Parmesan!
- GET SOME BACON IN THERE. Or pancetta!
- Crumbled Blue Cheese or Feta + Walnut
The flavour possibilities are endless, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. It’s super quick – these guys were ready from prep to my mouth in less than an hour!
Enjoy, and we’ll talk again soon, I promise. 🙂