Grace & Favor – A Life Worth Living

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Scone Baking 101

This past Sunday was filled with activities.  I had a meeting at church first thing in the morning regarding our mission trip to New Orleans in the spring.  I hurried home after the meeting to prepare for a luncheon/gab session/baking fest with some friends and family.  We had a great time together, with all the stress that life offers up in today's world its just such a gift to be able to step back for a few hours and just put everything aside and enjoy the company of those you love.

We started out by enjoying a light lunch at the table I had prepared for tablescapes last week click here.  It was a beautiful sunny late fall day and I was joking how rule number one is never to have people over when the sun is realize how badly your windows need a good cleaning.  Fortunately it was not an issue with these girls so we sat down to lunch, I'll post later the recipe for the egg dish I served.

Then it was on to scone making 101

 I have a very good recipe for scones from my friend Judy and have shared it with many.  Its a great basic recipe and you can change out or add ingredients like we did with the lemon poppyseed rather than the orange cranberry.  Your could also make these a savory treat too.
We sat up three spots at the island as we prepared to get started. My friend Sharon and my DIL Katie made cranberry orange scones and Kathy, Katie's mom made lemon poppyseed.  The lemon poppyseed was an experiment and in the end could have used another tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and a little more zest of lemon too. It was a experiment so we'll remember this for next time. Unfortunately there isn't a picture of Katie as she was the one taking the pictures.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 sour cream or creme fraiche
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 large eggs (cold from frig)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter (melted)
2 teaspoons raw sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or use a silpat. Whisk flour, 1/3 cup sugar, orange peel, baking powder, and salt in bowl until blended. Add 1/2 cup chilled butter using a pastry cutter to mix until it resembles coarse pea size pieces, do not mix with your hands you will break down the butter. Mix in cranberries. Whisk creme fraiche, orange juice and egg in medium bowl until blended. Gradually add to flour mixture, using fork to toss until moist clumps form. Your dough should look lumpy and you should still be able to see little pieces of butter.  Pat the dough into 8" round on a floured surface (use a marble slab if you have one) and cut into 8 equal wedges.

Transfer each wedge to prepared baking sheet, space your wedges a couple of inches apart. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be made up to a month ahead and frozen wrapped in foil.
The secret to good scones in my opinion is to make sure the ingredients are kept cold, all refrigerated ingredients should be taken out and mixed at the last minute. Don't leave anything out where it can warm before being mixed into the dry ingredients. Also touch the dough as little as possible with your hands when patting it into the round to be cut into wedges.  The heat from your hands will soften the butter and your scones won't come correctly.  

happy baking


Paula said...

Scones are one thing that I've never tried to make myself. Your party with the girls looks like a lot of fun. I've got a group of girlfriends who would love to do something like this. I also enjoyed seeing your kitchen. It looks like you have a great workspace.

ShannonPinNOLA said...

I've never made them either, but I'm pretty sure I just drooled on my computer looking at yours.

Bella Michelle said...

You do the coolest things, girl!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Miss Char, I think those scones would be perfect with my tablescape. We can turn it from breakfast to teatime. Do you think you could pop over and we could share??? YUM! Oh, and I'll even wash the dishes!


Sheila :-)