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|Servings: Makes 12 scones|
When days are long, and summer fruits start to ripen, it’s time to think about tea and scones. Iced tea, if you like, flavored with fresh mint; and scones spread with clotted cream, and sprinkled with fresh raspberries or bright-red, juice-oozing strawberry slices. Or capture the essence of summer by spreading those scones with some of your newly made peach or berry preserves. Or, in the case of this recipe-baking the preserves inside.
These scones are unbelievably tender and moist. If you’re used to the traditional British scone-somewhat hard and dry-this Americanized version will be a revelation to you. Soft, tender, and moist, with a lovely layer of tart-sweet jam running through the middle, these scones are only marginally more time-consuming to make than plain scones, but much more interesting.
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes*
1/3 cup (2 3/4 ounces) heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
*Don’t be too fussy about this; just cut the butter into small chunks. An easy way to do this is with a bench knife, cutting each stick in three strips lengthwise; turning it 90° and cutting in three strips again; then slicing into pats, which will each divide into 9 small chunks when you start mixing the dough.
6 heaping tablespoons (3 3/4 ounces) fruit preserves or jam
Milk or cream
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, tossing to combine; the mixture will be quite lumpy and uneven. Mix to combine the flour and butter a little more thoroughly, but stop mixing before everything is evenly crumbly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, and vanilla. Add this to the dry ingredients, stirring just till everything is evenly moistened.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, and divide it into four pieces, about 7 1/2 ounces each. Flatten each piece into a rough circle, and roll each circle into a 3/8-inch-thick round about 6 inches in diameter.
Top one of the rounds with half the jam, spreading it to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Brush milk around the bare edge, and top with one of the remaining rounds of dough, pressing gently to seal with the tines of a fork. Unlike biscuit or pie crust dough, this crust is very soft and easy to work with; you won’t need to press hard on it to seal top to bottom. Once the dough is sealed, gently push the edges in snug with the body of the scone; this will keep them from burning. Repeat with the remaining dough and jam.
Transfer the rounds to a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet; they’ll fit nicely on a half-sheet (18 x 13-inch) pan. Use a fork to prick the center of each round several times, to allow any steam to escape. If desired, cut each round into six wedges. Pre-cutting the scones makes a cleaner cut after they’re baked, but if you have any concern with the runniness of the jam you’ve used, and leakage, it’s safer to leave them uncut till after they’re baked.
Bake the scones in a preheated 400°F oven for about 22 minutes, till they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool for 15 minutes. Use a bench knife or sharp knife to cut each scone into six wedges. Serve warm.
Makes 12 jam scones.
Note: I didn’t try it, but it strikes me these scones would also be delightful with chocolate chips or chunks standing in for the jam or preserves.
(King Arthur Flour)
|Date: June 30, 2003|