Francene and I were picking up a few items at our local market and there was a package of Cranberry-Orange Scones on the marked down table. They looked great and we hadn’t eaten so they looked even better.
A summit conference was held in the aisle and we decided that nice bowl of soup when we got home would be a better choice, and then we could make our own scones.
Now the problem with making your own baked goods is that there is only the 2 of us, Molly, the Jack Russell doesn’t count here.
We found a few good recipes, and the one that sounded the best was from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. We especially liked the comments section where one Einstein said the recipe makes too many scones (16), so make the recipe, shape, mold and otherwise prepare everything for baking, then freeze most of them to be baked at a later date.
Duh, why couldn’t I have thought of that.
When I bake I always rely on a recipe. To me, cooking is an art form and baking is a science. This means there is less room for error and substitutions, so I generally get everything out and measured before I start. It is better to stop and go to the store before the mixing begins.
Scones have a heavy yet flaky texture, and this is due more to the way the butter is added and mixed then most anything else.
The butter needs to be chilled and cubed, then mixed at slow speed until the butter has partially blended. There should be pea sized chunks in the dry mixture.
When you add the wet mixture, do so on the quicker side and mix at the lowest speed until just blended. Do not over mix or you will end up with biscuits instead of scones.
In addition to Ina’s recipe I increased the cranberry’s another 1/2 cup and added 1/2 cup coarse chopped pecans. I didn’t have a nice 3 inch cutter so I shaped three 7 inch circles and one 8 inch circle, then divided them into 4ths.
I then did an egg wash with the orange juice added and sprinkled some raw sugar on top so the glaze would occur during baking.
Before baking, I wrapped three of the rounds and put in the freezer, we sure didn’t need 16 scones beckoning to us at one time.
After baking at 400 degree for probably 22 minutes, the round was removed from the oven and left to cool, the 4 sections then pulled apart.
The rest of the rounds will be separated before baking as the first method left the center of the round or the end of each scone 3/4 baked. Not raw dough, but not evenly baked either.
The final verdict: Easier to buy at the store, but taste better when you do them yourself. They where great with the first cup of coffee.