These breakfast or coffee-break scones unite a moist quick bread dough and dried fruit in one lightly sweetened bundle. Their texture is lighter than that of British scones.
The dough needs at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours' resting time in the refrigerator. The scones can be stored in an airtight tin for up to 1 day.
Make Ahead: Divide the disk of dough into 3 wedges. They can be frozen for up to 3 weeks. To store, wrap each wedge tightly in plastic wrap and then enclose in a resealable plastic food storage bag. To use the frozen dough, defrost in the refrigerator for 1 hour, then cut each large wedge into 3 equally sized wedges. Increase the baking time by 3 to 4 minutes.
Servings: 9 scones
- 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 6 tablespoons sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for sprinkling the tops of the unbaked scones (may substitute coarse or sparkling sugar as garnish)
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup low-fat or regular buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 cup mixed dried fruit (such as blueberries, cherries, cranberries, plums and/or apricots), large pieces cut into small dice, berries left whole
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and 6 tablespoons of the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Drop in the chunks of butter; use a pastry blender or 2 round-edged table knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it has reduced to irregular bits the size of large peas.
Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, orange extract and orange zest in a small bowl.
Pour the egg-buttermilk mixture over the flour-butter mixture, then sprinkle in the pieces of dried fruit; use a wooden spoon or stiff spatula to stir until a dough forms (it will be moderately firm and moist).
Knead the dough lightly in the bowl for 30 seconds. Form the dough into a uniform 8- to 9-inch disk. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 1 hour or for up to 24 hours; see headnote.
When ready to bake, position an oven rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Divide the chilled disk of dough into 3 equally sized wedges, then cut each of those into 3 smaller wedges (also of equal size); place them on the prepared sheet, spaced 3 inches apart. Use the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar to sprinkle the top of each scone.
Bake on the middle rack for 25 to 30 minutes or until the scones are set and medium-golden on top. Cool the baked scones on the sheet for 1 minute, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature, or cool completely before storing.
From Washington cookbook author Lisa Yockelson.
Tested by Frances Stead Sellers.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.