They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. As cliché as that might sound, my intended break from The Briarwood Baker while I’m studying abroad just proved that I missed blogging. And baking. Like I said in my previous post, I’m incredibly fortunate to have a kitchen at my disposal here. That also means scones for DAYS. As you probably know, tea and scones are generally considered the quintessential English breakfast/snack/food for any time of the day because when is there not a time for scones? Anyways, I figured “when in England, do as the English do” which essentially just gave me an excuse to bake scones and drink tea.
My dad has perfected the scone recipe and a favorite childhood memory is weekend breakfasts with fresh baked scones slathered in butter and jam. Over the years I’ve come to adapt the recipe slightly, but it has stayed true to its roots. Flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tarter, butter, and fruit. That’s all you need. The recipe is incredibly easy and the scones always come out perfectly dense and moist and slightly crumbly, just as a scone should be. Eat them warm with clotted cream and jam because that’s the way scones should be eaten (I like to think of it as the Eleventh Commandment, he he).
Also, on a side note (but still relating to scones): if you ever come to Cambridge, I’d highly recommend going to the Fitzwilliam Museum which is filled with Impressionist art, and then heading over to Fitzbillies, a phenomenal bakery. Their afternoon cream tea is delicious, and who doesn’t feel slightly more classy while sipping tea and eating scones?
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup craisins or chopped, dried apricots
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425°.
Sift flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, sugar, and salt into a bowl. Add butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the dried fruit and stir to combine.
Add enough milk to get a soft dough. On a pastry board, knead a couple of times and then form the dough into a 10-inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the circle into 8 wedges and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the top of each scone with turbinado sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden.
Grand Marnier scones: Reconstitute 1/2 cup of craisins in 1/2 cup of Grand Marnier in a ziploc bag for 24 hours. Drain the craisins after soaking. Follow the recipe above, except add the zest of one orange to the dry ingredients. After cutting in the butter, add the reconstituted craisins and proceed as directed above.
Makes: 8 scones
Because 8 scones would last all of ten minutes in my house, I’d recommend doubling the recipe and forming two 10-inch disks which will result in 16 scones total after cutting them.