Dried Fruit Scones

June 20, 2011

One of the simple pleasures of Sunday mornings is enjoying a relaxed breakfast, and I always look forward to scones to go with my coffee. Scones are said to have originated in Scotland, and were very much like bannock, a flat, dry oat biscuit made on a griddle.

Today’s scones have taken on a sweeter side with the addition of nuances like dried fruits and nuts. When you make them, keep in mind that the best scones will have the least manipulation. Over-mixing will cause them to be tough instead of tender. It is best to mix the ingredients by hand and only until blended. So start with mixing the dry ingredients first, and remember to measure the flour correctly by lightly sprinkling it into a dry one-cup measure and leveling it off at the top with a butter knife.

Some recipes call for cold butter to be cut into the flour like making a pie crust, but I only use melted butter to brush the surface of the scones before baking. There are no eggs in this recipe; heavy cream, half and half or even sour milk provides the liquid and the richness. Bake the scones plain or add some Sunday sunshine to the dough and mix in raisins, dried apricots, cranberries, strawberries, and nuts such as walnuts or hazelnuts.

Dried Fruit Sunday Scones

Preheat oven to 400F

Mix together in a bowl the following:
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar

Add the following to the flour mixture:
1/ 4 cup golden raisins or currants
½ cup dried apricots, cranberries, strawberries or blueberries
½ cup chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans or almonds

Use a fork to mix in 1 ¼ cups of heavy cream, Half and Half or sour milk.

Mix just until a rough mass of dough forms. Knead the dough a couple of times on a lightly floured surface to smooth it out.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Pat the dough into a 10-inch circle. Brush the top with 1 ½ tablespoons of melted butter then sprinkle with coarse white sugar.

With a knife score the top to create 8 equal wedges

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Get out the coffee, call the family and enjoy Sunday!

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