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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Orange-Cranberry Cream Scones

Whoever chose the name of this magically flaky bread, was right to get it from the Dutch word for beautiful bread; "schoonbro". A scone is a biscuit type pastry/bread that can be baked off, either as a disk, or different individual shapes. It takes it's roots as a Scottish quick bread in the 1500's, often made with oatmeal and baked in a griddle. Nowadays it is common to have them made with flour and oven-baked. Scones are extremely popular for breakfast or with tea. It can be made savory or sweet, depending on the occasion of time of day. Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861, popularized the scone when she fell in love with the pastry while having afternoon tea. She then had it everyday with tea and the traditional clotted cream to top it. The scone is a similar type of quick bread as the bannock, which's recipe can be found on this blog. The layering technique of the scone and it's sweeter components, make it very sophisticated compared to the bannock

Here is my favorite scone recipe, this one, a little bit more on the sweeter side. The cream is a definite must in this recipe, for it will give it the richness and tenderness wanted in a scone. 

Preheat oven at 400F

- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbsp Baking powder
- 3 Tbsp Sugar (more for sprinkling scones)
- 5 Tbsp COLD Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 tsp salt (if using salted butter, omit salt)
- 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries 
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream (35%) (more for brushing) 

Step 1: Combine in a large bowl, the Flour, Baking Powder, Sugar and Salt.
Step 2: Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter to create a coarse meal and add the dried cranberries. 
Step 3: Stir in cream till it comes together in a rough ball. 

Step 4: Roll out the dough onto a floured surface in the shape of a rectangle. Bring to a minimum thickness of 1 cm. Fold in half, onto itself and fold a second time. Roll out the dough a second time to the same shape and thickness, and repeat the folding process. This will create a layering affect and make the scones rise. 

Step 5: After folding the second time, roll out dough to a half inch ( about 1.5 cm) thickness. Cut out any shape of scone you would like. Plain circles and triangles work just as good as heart shaped or shamrock ones, depending on the occasion or holiday. 

Step 6: Place the cut out scones onto a parchment paper lined baking tray. Space them out nicely for even baking. Before putting them in your 400F oven, brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with sugar. This will give them a nice golden finish. 
Step 7: When they come out of the oven, do yourself a favor and have them hot with butter! You'll thank yourself, I know I did!  

Make these early in the morning when your loved one is still asleep. Assembles pretty quickly and easily. Let them wake up to the rich aromas of scones baking in the oven! They will LOVE you for it! 

Eat well, sleep well and till tomorrow!


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