I headed out to run a few errands this morning and couldn’t believe how chilly it was. Just yesterday I was out in a sweater. I found myself longing to be home baking these scones I’ve been dreaming about and sipping a cup of my favorite loose tea. I love dried apricots and have enjoyed them in a moist cake I bake called Swedish cream cake, in my chicken salad, and just popping them in my mouth. I could just picture The apricots peeking out of the buttery dough. Beautiful for serving in the spring at tea time. I’ve baked many scones over the years and never tire of the experience. Looking forward to sharing these.
At Christmas time I just love baking special treats for family and friends. When I was deciding what special treat to give my mother-in-law Helene and my sister-in-law Mary I remembered how much they loved the cranberry orange scones I made at one of my Christmas tea parties a few years ago. They are so festive and would look just lovely in a holiday treat bag. I was out shopping with my sisters in the beginning of December and I had found the cutest little jars of honey and brandy butter. I new those jars would be perfect to put with my homemade scones and to complete the gift some good tea bags. As most home bakers know scones need to be eaten pretty much within a few hours of being baked to taste their best. They are the best just a few minutes out of the oven for that matter. I knew I couldn’t pull that off on Christmas day as Mom and Mary were coming to dinner at 4:00 pm. So I decided to make this special treat for just after Christmas. I got up early this morning and baked the scones. My husband Joe is braving the rainy weather to deliver the scones to the girls. It’s the perfect day for this special delivery!
Basket of scones are ready for delivery. I hope it brightens up this rainy day for two really sweet ladies.
Scones are such a pleasure to make. I love that you can change up the liquid to get the taste and richness you would like. I have used whole milk, heavy cream, and butter milk depending on the scone I am making. The different flavors you can add are endless. Who wouldn’t love a moist and delicious scone? I serve scones at all my tea parties not just because it traditional, but because I love them. At my recent fall tea party I made cream scones with currents and flavored them with vanilla. They were served with homemade lemon curd, strawberry jam, and freshly whipped cream. My favorite topping is the lemon curd with just a dollop of whipped cream on top. It’s so delicious. I always start with ice cold butter and I am careful not to handle the dough to much so I don’t make them tough. Scones need to be moist and tender. I add and egg wash and a sprinkling of sugar to dress them up.
Cream Scones with Currents
2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ Cup granulated sugar
2 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
¼ Teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ Cup (12 tablespoons) ice cold unsalted butter, diced
¾ up to 1 Cup very cold heavy cream
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ Cup currents
1 Egg for egg wash
1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar, to sprinkle on tops of scones
In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a wire whisk to sift the ingredients together. Add the ice cold butter chunks to the flour mixture and using a pastry knife cut the butter into the flour mixture till it looks like little peas. Add the currents; toss them into the flour mixture with your clean hands. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Stir with a wooden spoon just till combine. Turn dough out on a flour board. Knead just a few times to make a disk. Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 12 inch rectangle shape. Then fold the dough turn it and roll it again you’re looking for a thickness of a ¼ inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut the scones. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes.