Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Simple Cream Scones

There are many scone recipes on this blog (and another on NPR). In no way do I see this as a deterrent for posting more. Many of my scones follow a similar formula: judicious amount of butter + buttermilk. It produces a moist but dense pastry that isn't too rich to qualify as breakfast.

These scones are completely different. With no butter whatsoever, they rely solely on heavy cream for fat, moisture and texture. Fortunately, this formula works, and it's dead simple. The cream (it MUST be heavy cream; half and half and milk lack sufficient fat to make the recipe work) makes these scones very light with a fine, moist crumb. Since you don't have to spend time working butter into the flour with a pastry blender, your fingers or a food processor, they come together in no time.

I really liked this style of scone. It's closer to the type of thing you'd eat at high tea, perhaps with jam and clotted cream. I found the recipe on A Cooking Life, an excellent blog by a chef who swears that anyone can use this recipe and produce a respectable scone. I think she's right. No worries about overworking the dough, or letting the butter get too soft. Just stir and go. I even threw together the dry ingredients the night before, so  all I had to do in the morning was add cream and bake. They were perfect with this casserole for brunch. You can use any additions you like, but I went with dried currants to keep these classic and British-y.

Simple Cream Scones
Adapted from A Cooking Life
Other dried fruits, especially raisins, cranberries or blueberries would be a nice swap for the currants. As the creator of this recipe says, no substitutions for the heavy cream--It's the only source of fat in the recipe, and if you take some of it out, they won't taste as good.

Makes 12 small or 8 large scones

1 cup/130 g all-purpose flour
1 cup/130 g whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup dried currants
1 cup plus 2 to 4 Tbs heavy cream
2 Tbs coarse sugar, such as turbinado (granulated may be substituted; use less)

Preheat oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and currants. Stir in the cream, just until flour is moistened. You may still have some crumbs at the bottom of the bowl. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead into a ball (if your dough will not come together, drizzle very sparingly with 1 to 2 Tbs additional cream). Divide in half and roll or press each piece into a 3/4 to 1-inch disk (to make large scones, roll all the dough into 1 disk and cut into 8 triangles). Cut each disk into 6 triangles and transfer to baking sheet, spacing scones at least 1-inch apart. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until bottoms are deep golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack. Serve warm with jam.


--Anna said...

Now you have to try the Nutella scones from Baked! They were the same style scone, but chocolate flavored.

Rich said...

Ha! High tea! I am going to make some of these for the futurewife and impress her on a Saturday. Thank you, you may have just scored me some points!