Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cream Scones

This week I wanted to bake up scones that were light and simple with a delicate crisp exterior and a tender crumb.  I had a nice little jar of pumpkin butter and another of raspberry preserves so I wanted a make up a good vehicle to enjoy them. I am not such a big fan of the heavy, dry scone I sometimes encounter. These are light and moist because of the cream and the egg helps them to stay that way for a day or two. I have tried making scones with milk and with buttermilk but I think cream makes the best texture. There are many cream scone recipes on the web with slight variations. I think I will have to keep experimenting!!

Cream Scones 

2 cups (9 ounces) All Purpose Flour*
1 TBSP. baking powder
4 TBSP. sugar (may add an extra TBSP)
1/2 tsp. salt
4-5 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup heavy cream (may add an extra 1-2 TBSP)
1 egg slightly beaten
1 tsp. of vanilla
2 TBSP of sugar for sprinkling ( may use raw, Turbinado sugar, spices like cardamom or grated lemon peel)
Cream to brush on tops

* Unbleached Gold Meadow flour is a good choice as it is slightly lower in protein which keeps the scones tender. It is best to weigh the flour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In the large bowl of a food processor add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and very cold butter cut into pieces.  
Pulse several times for about 3-5 second intervals until everything resembles coarse meal. Or by hand, use a pastry cutter or two butter knives to cut butter into flour mixture until the butter is finely cut in and the mixture resembles a course meal.

In a large bowl blend in heavy cream, beaten egg, and vanilla. Add in flour mixture and gently mix by hand using wooden spoon until it forms a mass of mostly moistened dough then turn a few times with hands in the bowl until it is a uniformly mixed ball of dough.  

Flour a board and make 4 balls of dough.  Pat and flatten each ball to about  ¾ “ high in the center and slightly thinner towards edges. 
Brush with cream and sprinkle with a bit of raw or turbinado sugar ( or regular white sugar) and cardamom or other spice.
Cut each circle in quarters. You should have enough dough to make 4 circles and 16 scones.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a slipat. Bake for 12- 15 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove scones from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 16 small scones

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