Monday, February 8, 2010

Scrumptious Scones

I'm promising everyone that I will be trying and perfecting at least one recipe a month. I had an order for scones recently, and its been a while since I made them. I decided what a great way to start my resolution.
Any scone I've paid money to eat, in Ireland anyways, has been quite typically dry and tasteless. I was determined to adapt a recipe to be much more decadent without being over the top. I think I'm getting there. In my research, I've found that scones seem to differ region to region. These are somewhere between a cake and a biscuit, a bit flaky but tender not dry. Plenty of rise. That's the perfect scone, to me.
These just melted in my mouth with a cup of coffee. Now, I'm not one for loads of cream and jam but I'm sure that they would be even more delicious served up that way! I'm thinking of messing around with the recipe a bit more but all in all these are top notch.

Scrumptious Scones
adapted from Ina Garten's Cranberry Orange Scones (less butter and few eggs in mine!)

4 cups all purpose flour (and an extra 1/4 to toss your fruit in)
1/4 cup sugar (if you like a very sweet scone, add another 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (I used flaky sea salt)
1 cup butter, very cold, diced into cubes (or frozen and grated)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten (cold!)
1 cup cream (make sure its cold! use half and half if you want)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of sultanas (or whatever dried fruit you want.

1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk


Preheat oven to 400F/200C (this is so important. For good rise, you need that initial blast of heat. So, crank up the oven before you even start the dough.

Mix 4 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder and salt in your mixer (with a paddle or food processor.

Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Using a mixer/processor keeps the dough cold and gets it mixed quick.

Combine the eggs, vanilla and heavy cream.
Slowly pour into your flour mixture with the mixer/processor on low. Expect lumps-- that's going to be your delicious flakes!

Toss your sultanas or other dried fruit in 1/4 cup flour and add them into your dough. Do NOT overmix. DO NOT OVERMIX! (don't overmix it).

Dump on the counter-- if its very wet, just dust the outside of the dough with flour. Try not to mix more flour in.
Lightly pat the dough into a ball so you can roll it out, about 3/4 - 1 inch thick. Cut as you want. 3" rounds, wedges, what have you.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash. Just the top. If you go down the sides it will not rise as high. I sprinkled the tops with demerera sugar.

Bake 15 minutes. Check on them around 10 minutes though, my oven is variable and not all ovens are equal. You don't want to over bake. They should be done when the tops are golden brown.


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