Maggie has a position which has allowed her a limited amount of travel to Europe. I was able to see Maggie a few days after she returned from Spain (and previous to that Italy). While the dish below was not inspired by her trips to those locations, I’m sure it was from her trips to England. Once again, here’s Maggie….
“I asked the maid in dulcet tone
To order me a buttered scone
The silly girl has been and gone
And ordered me a buttered scone.”
No matter how you pronounce it (most Brits say “skon”), a scone is yummy and satisfying. In British grocers, one can buy them in packages of six- usually with sultanas (raisins). I love the packaged ones as much as I do the homemade version. Well, almost. I’ve experimented with lots of recipes over the years, and settled upon the one shared below as my favorite. The buttermilk makes these creamy and wonderful. I substituted cinnamon for the orange juice in the glaze of the ones pictured here, but usually make the orange version.
Make sure you have a pot of tea brewed and ready as these come out of the oven. Drink tea with these scones. Lots of tea. Good tea. If the package says Lipton, don’t bother. Just have coffee then.
Cranberry Buttermilk Scones
What you need:
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 ½ t baking powder
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
¾ cup chilled butter cut into chunks
¾ cup dried cranberries
1 t grated fresh orange zest
1 cup buttermilk
1T heavy cream
½ t grated orange zest
1T fresh squeezed orange juice
What you do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. (I use my pizza stone for scones).
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I take a whisk and mix it all up. Then place in a stand mixer with the plastic shield if you have one. If not, use a hand mixer and just go slowly. This could also be done in a food processor too. Turn the mixer on low, and begin adding chunks of cold butter until well blended. It will be quite dry. Mix in the cranberries and orange zest. Now add the buttermilk, slowly, until well blended. Now the dough will be pretty darn wet. Shape the dough into a big ball, and divide in half. Lightly flour a board, or my case, just the countertop, knead a bit with floured hands and shape into circles about ¾” thick.
Cut each circle into 8 wedges and place the wedges about ½” apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until the scones are golden brown. While the scones are baking prepare the glaze. Remove the scones from the oven and brush the tops with the glaze.
Serve with butter and jam, or honey. And tea. No crappy tea!