Sunday, May 10, 2009

Classic Cream Scones

Friends and I got together for a Spring Tea Party and we made the following recipe together. Scones are definitely a must for any tea party and this one is a perfect recipe that always comes out wonderful!

Classic Cream Scones
recipe from Cook's Illustrated, Best New Recipe
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup heavy cream

For Lemon Blackberry Scones:
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ cup fresh blackberries

For Cranberry Orange Scones:
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
¾ cup dried cranberries

Topping:
1 tablespoon heavy cream
raw sugar for sprinkling


Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Whisk together t process with six 1-second pulses.
If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingertips and quickly cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps.

If using a food processor, remove the cover and distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients. Cover and process with twelve 1-second pulses. (Add the zest (& cranberries) and quickly mix in or pulse one more time.) Transfer the dough to a large bowl.

Stir in the heavy cream (& blueberries if using) with a rubber spatula or fork until the dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

Transfer the dough and all dry flour bits to a countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together unto a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds.

Press the dough into an 8 inch cake pan, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.

With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 wedges. Place the wedges on an ungreased baking sheet.

Brush the tops of the scones with 1 tablespoon heavy cream and then sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon sugar just before baking.

Bake until the scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.