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Scrumptious Scones

Posted on: Saturday, January 21, 2012

One of our guests’ consistently asked-for recipes is the following for cream scones, lifted from the Joy of Cooking. Our scone-loving guests unanimously love this recipe, citing these scones as being unusually moist and flavorful, without being overly sweet. Scones are actually incredibly easy to make at home, and the final product is superior to the consistently dry, day-old (or at least hours-old) scones most people are used to eating. Please try making them at home – they are fabulous!

Here’s the JOC basic cream scone recipe plus tips I’ve refined over the years to complete the recipe:

Preheat oven to 425 F with a rack in the middle.

Mix dry ingredients:
2 cups AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Add 1 ¼ cups cream and any other ingredients (fruit, nuts, citrus zest) and mix gently with cool, damp hands. Our guests especially love these scones with the addition of fresh cranberries, but you can include any dried or fresh fruit, nuts, or citrus zests you enjoy. As with all biscuit batters or doughs, don’t over-mix the ingredients, just make sure wet and dry are blended – using your hands is best – and stop. Create a mound of dough, rolling along the interior of the mixing bowl to pick up all the bits of batter.

Place the mound of dough on a prepared baking sheet and flatten it out with your hands until it’s about eight inches across each way and even. (Use damp hands, the dough is sticky.) I use Silpat on my baking sheets rather than butter or oil. It’s brilliant at keeping baked goods from sticking.

Here’s another trick to getting them perfect inside and looking even and tidy: go ahead and cut the round into eight scones using a pastry cutter, but don’t pull them apart.

Brush with cream, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (mix in your palm, then dust on from above so it spreads evenly).

Place in the oven at 425 F for approximately twelve minutes (ovens vary, so trust your nose and watch them – once they begin to turn gold around the edge and smell fragrant, you’re ready for the next step).

Pull them out of the oven, cut them again with a clean pastry knife and move them apart just so they’re no longer touching. Check the inside, they will probably need about another minute at this point.

Return them to the oven for no more than one or two additional minutes to finish off the inside.

Remove from oven, lift the scones off the tray gently with a pie slice-server or your fingers, and place them on a wire rack to cool. They are delicate, so be careful.

Enjoy straight away with butter and jam and fresh black coffee or espresso.

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