Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cranberry Orange Scones

Scones often get a bad rap. They have a reputation of being similar to a hockey puck. Too dense, too sweet, too buttery...the list of grievances goes on. I've had some bad scones in my day. And some good ones. I saw a recipe in the New York Times for classic scones, along with a corresponding article by Mark Bittman which begins by saying that scones in the U.S. (vs. those in England) are often weighed down by too many extra ingredients like fruit, nuts, chocolate, etc. He appreciates a simple, light scone. As do I. I thought - I need to make these. So I did. But...I did the unthinkable and added extras.

I know, I know. It's against everything the article says. As you may know, I like cranberry orange things. Cranberries are in season! Only a couple farmers markets left! I had to seize the day! Besides, I have all winter to hibernate in my apartment and make plain scones with a side of butter and jam. Here's the original recipe. And, with my additions:

2 cups cake flour, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy cream, more for brushing
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 pint cranberries

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal.

Add the egg and cream to form a slightly sticky dough. Add the orange juice and zest, and just mix until incorporated. The dough should start to form a big ball in the food processor. If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour, but very little; it should still stick a little to your hands. Remove dough from food processor and put into a mixing bowl. Mix the cranberries into the dough gently with your hands until spread evenly throughout.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press it into a 3/4-inch-thick circle and cut into 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter or glass, or cut into 8 equal triangles.

Put the scones on an ungreased baking sheet. If you made circles, gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again. Brush the top of each scone with a bit of cream and sprinkle with a little of the remaining sugar.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the scones are a beautiful golden brown. Serve immediately.

I think I ended up baking them for closer to 13 minutes. The original recipe yields 8-10 scones, so since I ended up with 8 they were a little bigger.

Light, fluffy, and tart. I used a lot of cranberries. You could easily use less than a pint and be fine. Half or 3/4 would do it. But, I like a lot. Just make sure you do a good job of incorporating them into the dough so you don't end up with some very cranberry-ish scones, and some less cranberry-ish.


  1. love the scones, love dinero!

  2. thanks! i couldn't help myself with that clip from was too perfect.