Monday, June 2, 2014

Food Post - Cranberry Orange Scones

I only bake if we have company coming or when I have friends coming over.  This was part of an afternoon tea.  I can't tell you the last time since I put together an afternoon tea.  It is easy enough, I just don't think about it too often.  

Tiny sandwiches with all the crusts cut off, wheat and white, with a variety of fillings which include wafer thin slices of cucumber on cream cheese, chicken salad, slivers of smoked salmon with capers and then there are fresh, homemade scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.  There would also be homemade biscuits (cookies to us over here) if you have any room left over.  And we mustn't forget that large pot of English Tea. 

Traditionally I make scones with raisins but I found a delicious recipe for Cranberry Orange Scones at this link right here.  Truth be told, I had run out of raisins but I did have some dried Cranberries and a couple of oranges in the fridge that needed using up.  I filed away this recipe a while back and the stars were aligned, or at least fridge ingredients were.  

Cranberry Orange Scones
Makes 8 scones (I used a round fluted cutter)

1-1/2 sticks of cold butter
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 orange, zested and juiced
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine chopped cold butter, flour, sugar, orange zest, baking powder and salt in either a stand or hand-held mixer, until the mixture forms into small, pea-sized clumps.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, heavy cream and dried cranberries.

Slowly pour the liquids in as the mixer continues to run, and make sure your fingers are clear.  Yes I am overly cautious but you know, I have done silly things in the past.  Once all ingredients are incorporated, turn the mixer off and scoop the dough onto a floured surface.

Knead the dough just enough to bring it together and create one smooth surface (without seams or folds).

Flour top lightly, roll the dough out to about 1-1/4 inch thickness and cut using a fluted round cutter that has been dipped in flour.  Dipping the cutter into the flour will help between each cut.  Just press down hard and give a slight twist.

(The recipe suggested if you don't have a cutter, you can use a round glass or tin, but I always say go carefully and don't press down too hard if you are using the glass and if you are using a tin, make sure there are no sharp edges you can cut yourself on.  Speaking from experience here back in the day when I was new to the kitchen.)

Place scones on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 15-18 minutes.  (I did not have any parchment paper so I lined my sheet with non-stick aluminum foil.  This worked out really well.  My scones also baked in the 18 minute range but it will all depend on your own oven.)

While the scones are baking go ahead and prepare the glaze.  For this you will need:

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (my two oranges produced the 1/2 cup of juice but I suppose it will all depend on how large or how much juice there is in them.  Mine were medium size)

Mix the ingredients until it makes a smooth, pourable glaze.

Leave the scones to cool slightly before drizzling with the glaze.

And there you go, one very delicious scone. There were none left and people looked longingly for extras, but I only made enough for one each.  They are pretty rich, especially with the Devon Clotted Cream......

and strawberry jam.  This is the type of cream I have always used, my mother before me.  I can get it at our local supermarket in the section where they also sell imported cheese.  

If you can't get this cream Alton Brown has a recipe at this link right here.

There is also one I found here at All Recipes.