Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fresh Cranberry Orange Scones

Freshly baked scones, liberally flecked with orange zest and polka dotted with fresh cranberries. Do I really need to say more?
I usually make scones to use up the remains from other recipes. Half-full cartons of cream, odd amounts of butter, frozen fruit sitting sadly in my freezer often find their way into a scone sooner or later. Not that this is a bad thing, on the contrary, I adore scones and would bake them whether I had the incentive to or not. They are the consummate teatime pastry- not too sweet but sweet enough to revive one from that mid-afternoon lethargy .

These scones with their tart, sunshiny flavour are a much needed pick me up on a dull fall day. They come together in minutes and I didn't have to go shopping for ingredients. I love combining cranberries with citrus flavours, cranberries and orange zest is a perfect match it makes these scones tart and refreshing. The scones themselves are tender and beautiful due to the jewel toned smattering of red cranberries and the liberal application of sparkly sugar to the tops of the scones before baking.

Cranberry Orange Scones


Time: 30 minutes

Makes 8 scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for work surface
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled (1/3 cup plus two teaspoons butter)
  • 2/3 cup half and half cream, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing scones
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon sanding or granulated sugar for sprinkling

    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2/3 cup half and half just until moistened. Gently fold in cranberries.
    2. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently 5-10 times. Pat into a 1-inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges; place on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush tops with remaining tablespoon sugar or sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Scones are best eaten the day they are made.

Adapted from : Martha Stewart Everyday Food Holiday 2007

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