|Classic Scone with Jam & Clotted Cream|
Recipe adapted from The Secret Garden Cookbook
As of January 6, the holiday season is concluded and we enter a more quiet and contemplative time of year. Looking back on the joy of the holidays and the blessings we’ve received during 2013 helps us pre-pave the way for a happy 2014. No need to remember what’s less than pleasant; it’s a brand new year now. Even tiny successes make rewarding recollections—like how I learned a secret to making scones on Christmas morning.
|For Perfect Texture Don't Overwork Dough|
|Eight Scones in the Making|
|Christmas Morning Leftovers for Later Reference|
makes 8 scones
2 cups flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup milk or half & half
¾ - l cup currants
1 – 2 tsp. flour for kneading
~1 tbsp. milk for glaze
1-2 tbsp. raw sugar for glaze
Jam, clotted cream, butter, etc. for serving
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with baking parchment.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium mixing bowl.
Be sure that butter is well-chilled. Cut into about ½ inch cubes. If they soften, chill in freezer for about 5 minutes. Add butter pieces to dry ingredients using a knife to separate and scrape them into the bowl. Mix together butter and dry ingredients with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Don’t over-mix!
Pour milk over butter-flour mixture and let soak in, tossing dough lightly. Add currants. Gently mix dough together with hands, bringing dry parts into contact with wet parts and squeezing until most of the dough is moistened. Don’t over-mix; there will be wet and dry (crumbly) areas.
Lightly flour a kneading board. Turn dough onto board, scraping bits from inside of bowl with rubber spatula. Knead until it just comes together, 3 – 4 times total. If mixture looks too dry after 2 kneads, add a teaspoon of milk and proceed, bringing dry areas in contact with wet and pressing. It’s fine if there are dry spots after kneading.
Form dough into a ball. Pat into a circle about ½ - ¾ inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges. Place wedges on parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet with a metal spatula.
Brush tops of scones with milk and sprinkle with raw or other coarse-grained sugar.
Bake until lightly browned, 8 – 12 minutes. Serve immediately or cool completely on cooling racks and store lightly covered.
It’s traditional to serve these with jam and clotted cream. Greek yogurt makes a reasonable substitute for the latter. Guests split their own and apply the condiments as they like. Lemon curd is another tradition, typically with plain scones. At my house butter and cinnamon-sugar are popular, if nontraditional, accompaniments.
Tips for Scone Success
|Cut Butter into Small Pieces and Chill|
|Mix Flour & Butter to Only to Coarse Breadcrumb Texture|
|Dough Before Kneading: Don't Mix Thoroughly in Bowl|
|Knead Dough 4 Times Only, Splash with Milk if Needed|
|Crumbly Dough is Fine, Don't Overwork It|