Friday, April 29, 2011

Classic Cream Scones ...

I do not have royal-wedding fever, though I did make it a point to see a picture of Kate's dress and it was indeed lovely. And I appreciate that her flowers were so demure.

But I was planning on making scones today anyway, so I'll pretend that they're in honor of the happy couple, scones bein' British 'n' all.

And I did find myself humming British-y music while I made them. So perhaps I have a touch of royal fever. Very mild, though. Like 99.1.

Classic Cream Scones
(From Simply Scones, Published by St. Martin's Press, 1988)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled (I use salted butter)
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup currants (optional)
1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water for glaze (optional)

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Lightly butter a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture. With a pastry blender or two knives used scissors fashion, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together the cream, egg, and vanilla. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in the currants, if desired.

With lightly floured hands, pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured cutting board. Using a floured 2 1/2-inch-diameter round biscuit cutter or a glass, cut out rounds** from the dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Gather the scraps together and repeat until all dough is used. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with the egg mixture, if desired. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the scones to the wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes 12 - 14 scones.

** For those who may not know, when cutting the scones, don’t twist the cutter back and forth. Just cut straight down. Twisting “seals” the edges of the dough and impedes them rising in the oven.


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