Tuesday, April 12, 2011
One of my favorite baking blogs is Joy Of Baking. The cream scone recipe I based these on is the recipe that won me over to them. In high school I would wake up early, make miniature scones out of this recipe and feed my friends and teachers (who are also friends) all morning. I make them for tea parties, for parties without tea, or as medium of jar-to-mouth transfer for the orange marmalade I made for Mum.
An orange marmalade recipe should be coming soon. Because it was delicious.
2 C flour
1/4 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 C cold salted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C milk (I use nonfat, but you can go up to cream if you want)
Mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
Slice up the cold butter into chunks, then toss it into the flour. This is the most labor intensive part of the process, but the result is so entirely worth it and this part will only take you a few minutes. Coat the butter in the flour mixture, then use your thumbs and fingers to rub it into the flour. I take handfuls of flour/butter and rub my thumb and the edge of my forefinger together, pushing flour/butter through them. Do this until the flour/butter mixture looks like pea-size crumbs.
You can also use a pastry cutter for the above step, but I don't own one.
Next, mix the cranberries into the flour (or mix inwhatever other goodies you want to include: chocolate chips, candied ginger, raisins, currants, (really, any dried fruit works), fresh or frozen berries, nuts, etc).
In a small separate bowl, beat together the egg, vanilla and milk with a fork.
Make a well in the middle of the flour/butter/cranberries and pour the egg/vanilla/milk into it. Stir very briefly, only enough combine it. The less you mix, the more tender the scones will be because there will be less gluten formation (the awesome protein web that flour spins in your baked goods. Less awesome if you're gluten-allergic or have celiacs--but please don't make this if you have either of those!).
Drop 1/3 cup-fuls (for child's-palm-sized scones) onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until golden. To check doneness, lift one up and make sure its bottom is dry.
If you make the scones smaller, cook them for less time.
Serve warm or cold (but preferably warm), with butter, jam, marmalade, Devonshire cream, or some combination.
Omit the sugar and you should have a kind of biscuit creation you could serve with a savory meal. But I like sugar, so I haven't tried this yet.
P.S. To make faux-Devonshire cream, lightly beat whipping cream to soft peaks and add a little lemon or lime zest. Soft peaks: when you take the beaters out of the cream and turn them upside down, there should obviously be peaks but the peaks should fall over under gravity.