This week, we’re making scones!
As the unofficial mascot of British people/the elderly alike, the humble scone is as much a mainstay of posh society as Dame Helen Mirren herself. In fact I’m pretty sure her full name is Dame Helen Scone Mirren, and god save the queen.
It has been my experience that people on this side of the revolutionary war don’t do enough justice to scones. Yes, Starbucks does offer a crumbly pastry of sorts pretending to be a blueberry scone, but there is not nearly enough diversity in the options available. The breakfast pastry community has been overrun by muffins and I WILL NOT STAND for this tyranny any more.
Because think of all the possibilities! Lemon-lavender infused scones! White chocolate and apricot scones! Pear and cinnamon scones! Regular scones with enough jam and/or butter on top to give your doctor a stress hernia! And you get to feel fancy whilst ordering one!
I’ve taken a brief hiatus since my last scone recipe (click here for a maple-brown sugar option, click here for a lemon-blueberry variety). Dabbled in brownies. Perused pancakes. But I’m back with a newfound commitment to the pastry, spurred by nostalgically flipping through old photos from when I lived in London and one too many hours of Masterpiece Theater (because I am 22 going on 82).
To start my foray into sconing I’ve consulted my mother, who is a chef and therefore knows what things like “blanch your carrots before julienning them” means. She has a blog with many wonderful recipes, and this recipe for mini cranberry-orange scones is one of them.
It’s super simple: start with a basic scone recipe. Then add some cranberries for colour, then add some orange zest because you don’t want to get scurvy, then boom! You’ve got scones delicious enough to bring a tear to eyes of the Queen of England.
Also: this recipe is actually a really good base for any future scones you may be thinking of. Swap out the cranberries and orange zest for other favourites (raisins, chopped apricots, nuts, etc) and get creative.
Also also, get some props and your camera because when presented with a mini food it is a well-known rule that you need to take at least 10-12 strategically angled photos of aforementioned food for Instagram/posterity.
MINI CRANBERRY-ORANGE SCONES WITH AN ORANGE GLAZE
(makes 16 scones)
You Will Need
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup half and half
- zest of one large orange
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into cubes, cold
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- For the glaze: 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice, 1/2 tsp. orange zest
- Preheat oven to 425F/218C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg, half and half, and most of the orange zest, reserving 1/2 tsp. for the glaze.
- Cut in the butter cubes to the flour mixture until the whole thing looks like coarse meal. Toss in the cranberries and mix well.
- Combine the egg mixture with the flour mixture, stirring well until a dough forms.
- Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until well-combined (use more flour if dough is too sticky to work with). Divide the dough in two equal pieces and form each into 3/4″ thick circles. Cut each circle into 8 slices, and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned, then cool completely on a rack before glazing.
- To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Dip each cooled scone into the glaze until the tops are well-coated, and place on the cooling rack with some wax paper underneath to catch dripping glaze.