A Scone

Dear readers, have you ever had a scone?

I have.  And I remember it being quite dry, bland, and brick-like.

So when I tramped around New York’s best bakeries a couple falls ago, I wasn’t tempted by these classic English tea cakes.  At our monthly, homemade staff breakfasts, I save the calories I would spend on a scone, opting instead to devour an ungodly amount of  my favorite carbulous casserole.

I don’t trust scones.

But today, I made some, and I am going to have to take back every bad thing I ever said about them.

I’m sorry, scones.

The tides started to change when AGOMYR (who is the freshest face on the Meet the Cast page, go say hi!) introduced me to Giada’s Strawberry and Rosemary Scones at a recent staff breakfast.  The flavor combination was too intriguing to snub, and I kept sneaking more of these bite-sized beauties onto my plate.

Then I read Ali’s post about her contributions to the Thanksgiving table.   I was so inspired by the idea of cranberry biscuits that I ran out to buy another bag of fresh cranberries.  When I looked more closely at the recipe for these, I learned that the biscuit recipe yields 12-15 scones.  Wait a second.  Scones are just sweet biscuits!  And some people have an inexplicable inability to make good biscuits which would also explain why there are so many inedible scones out there too.

But I make good biscuits.

So I bet I’d make good scones, too.

Cue angels singing “Hallelujah” from the heavens above.

One click over to smitten kitchen, and I had a way to use up not only the bag of cranberries, but some of my leftover heavy cream too.  I followed Deb’s recipe, and added a lemon glaze on top.  I mean, the lemon juice was just sitting there waiting around for nothing, who was I to deny it the pleasure of being on top of these beauties.

To make 18, 2-inch scones, you will need:

  • 1 1/2 T lemon zest, peeled with a vegetable peeler and chopped fine.  Deb said 2 lemons, but it only took me 1.
  • 2 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C sugar + 3 T
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 T salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 T) cold butter, diced
  • 1 1/4 C fresh cranberries, rough chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 C cold heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine lemon zest, flour, 1/2 C sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in bowl of food processor.  Pulse until texture resembles coarse meal.  Turn mixture out into large bowl.  In small bowl, combine cranberries and 3 T sugar.  Add to flour mixture.  In another small bowl (or the small bowl you just emptied, or the measuring cup you used for the cream), whisk together the egg, egg yolk and cream.  Add to flour mixture and stir till just combined.
At this point in my baking, my dough was wet.  It was sticky.  And it took a fair amount of flour to get these from bowl to oven.  But the extra flour did nothing to mask the zesty and tart flavor.  So don’t fear.
Turn the dough onto a well floured surface and pat into a circle about 1 inch thick.  Your circle should be about 8 inches in diameter.  Using a 2 inch round cutter dipped in flour (or a glass of about the same diameter), cut scones out and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
Bake 15-20 minutes.


Make ahead:  Get everything ready, and rather than stick your baking sheet in the oven, stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes.  Then, place frozen scones in an airtight container (I love a well-labeled zip-top bag) and bake at 400 for 20-22 minutes whenever the mood strikes.  Scones are best fresh from the oven, so only bake what you need, and save the rest for later.
To make lemon glaze for your scones, you will need:
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 T lemon juice (from that lemon you zested up above), and probably a little more
Dump powdered sugar in a bowl.  Add lemon juice and stir.  It will look like it’s not going to go far in terms of the sugar, but keep stirring.  If you need a thinner glaze, add lemon juice by the 1/2 teaspoon. Keep stirring, stirring, stirring.  Drizzle over cool scones.
Because of my previous scone aversion, I was blind to all the scone possibilities out there.  I can’t wait to use the holiday season to make up for lost time.  These are at the top of my list…
PW’s Petite Vanilla Bean Scones are a riff on the little guys you see sitting pretty behind the glass at Starbucks.
Joy’s Orange and Dark Chocolate Scones were inspired by those giant orange-like chocolate balls she (and I) always got at Christmas.  I’ll take one of these instead please.  Joy also introduced us to her own cranberry scones a couple days ago.
Ina has several varieties of her own, and her Maple Oatmeal Scones are the ones I’m most anxious to try.

4 thoughts on “A Scone

  1. Pingback: This Should Surprise No One « a glass of milk

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