Category Archives: Scones

Making Cream Scones

Cream scones are the classic compliment to the Devon cream tea. They’re comparable in flavor to an American scone, but smaller, lighter of crumb and above all easier to slather with clotted cream and jam. Though the procedure and ingredients may be similar to American biscuits and/or Australian scones, they’re really their own animal. Try them and you’ll see.

Begin by preheating your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and placing a rack on the very top position in the oven. That’s high heat for a British scone, but the big heat gives them a quicker, higher rise at the outset and a lighter texture in the end. They’ll have a more knobby top than a classic scone, but to me at least the tradeoff is worth it. Now sift your flour into a large bowl.

Add the sugar, baking powder and salt…

…and whisk thoroughly.

Now for the wet ingredients. Combine the cold cream, cold egg and vanilla extract in a bowl…

…and give’em a good swizzle.

Put that mixture in the fridge while you incorporate the butter. Add the cold cubes and rub, rub, rub.

When that’s done and the flour mixture looks like breadcrumbs, add the wet ingredients.

Gently bring the dough together with a spatula.

Then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and pat it down to about half an inch in thickness.

Using a 2 to 2 1/2″ biscuit butter, cut out rounds, bringing the scraps back together as needed until all the dough is used.

Place the dough rounds on a baking sheet…

…paint with egg wash…

…and bake about 10 minutes until they’re golden. Like so.

While still warm apply some clotted cream should you have any (Mrs. Pastry found some for me…don’t ask me where).

Add jam. Strawberry is traditional but just about any will work here.

Then 1.) open mouth and 2.) stuff in. Repeat until butterfat coma ensues.

Filed under:  British Cream Scones, Pastry | 42 Comments

Cream Scones Recipe

These scones are the kind I remember from my college days in Devon when I, along with the other overcoat-wearing nihilists from the University of Exeter’s philosophy department, would descend on a local tea shop and munch cream-covered scones from delicate china plates set on doilies. The universe might have been impersonal and meaningless but the butterfat content was high. You’ll need:

10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1.75 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
2.75 ounces (5 1/2 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into cubes
4 ounces (1/2 cup) heavy cream
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg mixed with 2 teaspoons milk for the glaze

Begin by preheating your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and set a rack in the top position of your oven. In a large bowl, sift the flour, then whisk in the sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter pieces and rub them in until the mixture looks like corn meal. In another bowl combine the In a small bowl whisk together the cream, egg and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and gently stir them together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and pat it down until it’s about 1/2 an inch thick. Using a 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Push together the scraps, pat them down and repeat the process until all the dough is used.

Whisk the egg and milk together, and brush it onto the tops of the scones. Bake 8-10 minutes until they’re lightly browned on top.

Filed under:  British Cream Scones, Pastry | 11 Comments

Making Pumpkin Scones

New Zealand/Australian scones are so like American biscuits it’s tempting to say there’s no difference between them at all. That’s not true of course. On balance they contain a little less butter and are moistened (at least the pumpkin versions) with egg instead of buttermilk, which gives them a more tender, cake-like crumb. Another big difference is that they’re frequently loaded up with flavorings like pumpkin, cheese or dates. Most Americans (especially Southern Americans) view flavored biscuits with deep suspicion, if not outright
hostility. These, however, are fantastic.

Begin by preheating your oven to 450 and setting a shelf on a high rack. Like any small quick breads, you’ll get a higher rise from a quick blast of high heat. Sift your dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Lightly beat the egg and milk together in a small bowl.

Add the butter to the dry ingredients and rub it in.

There isn’t enough butter to create a “corn meal”-like consistency, but you get the idea.

Add the pumpkin…

…and work it in by hand. You’ll get a rather shaggy dough. Don’t sweat it.

Add the egg mixture…

…and gently work it in with a spatula. Like American biscuits, you want to avoid working this dough too much.

The dough should be soft but not wet. Add another teaspoon or two of milk if it’s too dry. Transfer it to a well-floured board and pat it down to a thickness of about an inch.

Using a 2-inch cutter, cut out as many scones as you can.

Bring the scraps together, pat them back down to a 1-inch thickness and repeat the cutting until you have 12 scones.

Lay them out on a sheet pan, it need not have parchment on it (what can I say…force of habit). You can paint them with either milk or butter. Since I want a little color on the tops, I’m using butter.

Bake them 10-12 minutes until they’re well rise and lightly browned.

Serve them warm — split and slathered with jam. Tomato jam works especially well with these in my humble opinion.

Filed under:  Aussie Pumpkin Scones, Pastry | 22 Comments

Pumpkin Scones Recipe

Things work a little differently in New Zealand and Australia where baking nomenclature is concerned. Relative to American baking, their scones are our biscuits. Their biscuits are are our cookies, and their cookies are…well honestly I don’t know what they are. I’m not sure they have any. But these pumpkin biscuits scones are something special. Talk about a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables fruit, these things have more pumpkin in them than flour.

Slightly cake-like relative to American biscuits (that’s because of the egg) the process of making them is identical. Try them soon, as you’ll be able to whip up a batch in about half an hour — total. You’ll need:

11 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) milk
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) butter, cold and cut into pieces
15 ounces (1 1/2 cups) canned (or cooked and mashed) pumpkin

Begin by preheating your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and set a rack on an upper shelf. Sift the dry ingredients together. Combine the milk and egg in a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Rub in the butter pieces with your fingers. Do the same with the pumpkin. Lastly add the egg mixture and gently incorporate with a spatula.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Pat it down to about a 1-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch cutter, cut out as many scones as you can, then gently bring the scraps together and repeat the patting and cutting. Lay the scones out on an un-greased baking sheet and paint them with either milk or butter. Bake about 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and well risen. Serve warm.

Filed under:  Aussie Pumpkin Scones, Pastry | 6 Comments

How to Make Ginger Scones

This is a very American scone. It’s big, it’s triangular, it’s rich. Note, however, that it’s possible to do a lot of different things with this dough. I generally favor small scones, and indeed I normally make 12 little triangles with this recipe instead of eight large ones. You can use round cutters if you wish, cut them square, whatever you want! Start by combining your dry ingredients in a mixer bowl…

Stir on low to combine them, then add the butter and lemon zest.

Continue to stir on medium until you have a coarse, meal-like consistency. You can also do this by hand if you wish!

Add the ginger and stir it in.

Then make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the lightly whipped cream (yes, all you eagle-eyes, I did mix up my steps a little here…just do as I say, not as I do!).

Fold everything together until a dough starts to form…

…and knead it lightly a few times by hand to bring it into a ball.

Pat the ball into one big disk if you’re making large scones, or divide the dough and make two disks if you want smaller ones.

Cut the disk into eight pieces (or cut the small disks into six pieces each if making smaller ones). This is where the American scone-making process diverges somewhat from classic methods. The Scots, for example, often eat triangular scones, but they cut their dough disk (“bannock” as it’s sometimes referred to) after they bake it.

Arrange the wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet and paint with additional cream. Bake at 400 for 14 – 18 minutes.

Filed under:  American Ginger Scones, Pastry | 4 Comments

Ginger Scone Recipe

This is probably my favorite scone recipe. The ginger adds what I think is the perfect zing and textural contrast.

3/4 cup heavy cream, plus extra for the tops
12 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
2.5 ounces sugar
pinch salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
4 ounces candied ginger, finely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, whip the cream until frothy, not quite to soft peaks. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, combine dry ingredients and stir on low to blend. Add lemon zest and butter and continue to stir until the mixture looks like corn meal. Transfer to a large bowl, add the chopped ginger and stir it in. Make a well in the center and add the cream. Fold the ingredients together until combined, then knead by hand once or twice, lightly, until the dough gathers into a ball. (If making small scones, divide the dough into two balls).

On a lightly floured board, pat the dough into disks (or a disk) about 3/4 inch thick and using a long knife, cut into wedges (cut the large disk into eight if making large scones, cut the half-size disks into six pieces each if making smaller ones). Arrange the wedges on a baking sheet and paint with additional cream. Bake for 14 – 16 minutes until slightly browned.

Makes 8 large or 12 smaller scones.

Filed under:  American Ginger Scones, Pastry | 4 Comments