As we were dog-sitting The Naughty One that day, we had a tiny, but clean, quiet, and totally-ours kitchen to work in. It was quite the treat to get my hands back in the swing, so to speak, of making scones, as I have posted previously about how scones, like muffins, are one of those simple things that are apparently incredibly difficult for me to make! Miss Kitty and I have been fired up to try this scone recipe since we came back from TempleCon in February, where a great pastry Chef, Chef Choux, made them look so easy (which they *are, grrr)!
So anyway, the trick is to not fiddle with them too much; the more you touch them or shape them, or roll them out over again, the tougher they will be.
I hope you enjoy this little recipe; as always, please send me pics or a reply if you have had any success (or notable failure) in making scones in your own kitchen!
I do love good kitchen gossip. :o)
Yield: 8-12 scones (depending on size)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white sugar
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup milk (from 2% to half and half/table cream is fine)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400˚ F (200˚ C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut in* butter. Mix the egg and milk in a small bowl, and stir into flour mixture just until moistened.
- Reconstitute the dried cranberries with a little hot water and let soak for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze the fruit tightly to remove any excess water. Add cranberries and lemon zest to the flour mixture.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly to help mixture come together. Roll dough out into a ½” thick round. Use a round pastry cutter to cut into 8 rounds, or a sharp knife to cut into 8 wedges, and place on the prepared baking sheet. If using a pastry cutter, ensure your rounds are cut as close together as possible, in order to minimize the amount of dough that needs to be rerolled (rerolling the dough will toughen the scones).
- Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating and switching pans once during baking to ensure even browning. Allow to cool completely.
- Once cool, combine icing sugar and lemon juice into a thin paste (flat icing); using a fork or spoon, drizzle flat icing over top of cooled scones to desired taste. Allow to dry or serve immediately. These should be eaten within 24 hours for maximum freshness.
*”Cutting in” butter is the process of combining the flour and dry ingredients with the cold fat as quickly as possible. The reason this is done is to create evenly sized pieces of butter, coated with flour and evenly distributed throughout; when these little chunks of butter melt, they create little “pockets” of steam that in turn create delicious layers of flakiness, making a baked good melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Cutting in can be done in several ways, with varying levels of success: the best 3 options require no machinery (i.e. blenders/mixers/processors), so you can “feel” your way to the right consistency. Option 1: two butter knives in a scissoring motion; option #2: a pastry blender, or option #3: your fingertips, provided you are quick and sure enough and don’t have overly hot hands. I do have incredibly hot hands, but have mostly learned to compensate after all these years.