Saturday, January 17, 2009
Week 3 of our annual January morning coffee hours brought scones--my own personal favorite breakfast treat. I was quite anxious the first time I made scones, which was just a few years ago. They seemed so foreign. Not exotic foreign, just not something I grew up with and not in my repertoire. And also because scones can be very good, but they can also be quite bad. I didn't know how to tell whether mine would turn out to be one of the good ones.
This recipe is from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook via Smitten Kitchen
Even before they were baked, I could see they were going to be good because the dough was crumbly and buttery, with the butter worked in well throughout. I guess the only real secrets to scones are not to be stingy with the butter and cream and not to work the dough too much. I'm sure that there are people who can successfully work the butter into the flour with their fingers, but I'm not one of them. It's the food processor for me, baby!
The original recipe calls for currants, but SmittenKitchen changed that to dried cranberries, chopped up a bit, and I used cranberries too. I added the grated rind of one large orange because orange is such a natural partner of cranberries. I also sprinkled some Demerara sugar on top.
The nicest compliment came from Lela, our neighbor across the street. She took a bite and said, "Oh, I didn't know I liked scones, but I guess I do. I've had them at Starbucks, and I just thought they were dry and tasteless. But these are good." Once you've had real scones, you can never go back.