Cranberry and Raisin Scones
Welcome to installment #4 of a series of posts on holiday baking! In case you've missed any and would like to go back, there were the chocolate shortbreads, double chocolate cookies, and the real shortbread cookies.
[Cutting symmetrical shapes out of a circle isn't my strong suit...Shaping the dough into a rectangle and cutting it into triangles would have been way easier.]
Today's recipe is something of a departure. I decided to make scones, and after a brief search of blog recipes on my Google reader, I settled on a fairly simple one that allows you to add in any dried fruit or nut that you'd like. I added in a small handful each of dried cranberries and raisins.
These were really light and delicious. I know I sound like a little kid, but I ended up picking out a few of the raisins.
I was hoping I'd get to try out my new rolling pin for this recipe, but it just calls for you to pat the dough with your hands.
This is kind of a "fun sized" rolling pin, for someone with a tiny kitchen like me. I bought it at Jill's Table, a foodie store near Covent Garden, an indoor farmer's market downtown. They happened to be having their 10th Anniversary, so everything I bought was 10% off, AND, they gave me this great wooden spoon with their name on it:
Next time I go in I'm going to tell them about the blog...Maybe I can convince them to sponsor a giveaway or something. Just a write up about their store would be fun - it's really beautiful inside.
from Cherry on a Cake
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup ground pecans or almonds
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
7 1/2 tbs butter
Almost 1 cup of heavy cream
a handful of raisins or currants if you like. Or other dried fruits of your choice.
Sift flour and the baking powder and soda. Add salt, ground almonds and the sugar. Mix to incorporate the ingredients. Add the raisins if using.
Lightly beat egg in a measuring cup and add the heavy cream until it makes 1 cup of liquid.
Make sure the butter is very cold and cut it into smallish pieces. Put the butter in to the flour mixture and rub it in with your fingers very lightly or use 2 knives or a pastry cutter until it resembles coarsemeal or rough breadcrumbs. Its important to ensure that the butter doesn't melt and remain in small solid pieces so that the scones will be lifted up when the butter melts and its steam released while baking in the oven.
You may at this point chill the flour mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes if the kitchen is warm. Make a well in the center and pour in the cream egg mixture. Using a fork stir very quickly until the mixture comes together. then using you finger bring the dough together to form a ball without kneading. place on a floured surface and pat the dough down with your fingers to about 1/2 inch in thickness. Cut into rounds.**
Bake at 200 C* for 10 - 12 mins. Best eaten warm with butter and jam and/or clotted cream.
*My oven has both marked on it, since I live in another country now and what not. I set it just below 400 F.
**Today I learned something important: scones get bigger as they bake. Next time I'll cut them into smaller pieces.