Friday, September 19, 2014

Cream Scones

It was a Saturday morning, and we were out of buttermilk.  In my home, this is a real travesty!  That means no pancakes or waffles for breakfast!  Yes, I know I can make a buttermilk substitution with milk and vinegar/lemon juice, it just isn't the same when it comes to pancakes.  Breakfast was quickly becoming a gigantic dilemma when I recalled that I had once clipped a recipe for scones made with heavy cream.  And by golly, I had cream in the refrigerator!  Breakfast was saved!  Phew.

I whipped up a batch of cream scones and made some poached eggs to go with them (my first time ever, what a delight!!!) and the day got off to a good start!  These cream scones are totally divine, I have to admit.  They are delicate and flaky and not too sweet but just sweet enough, mmmmm.  They are marvelous.  Now I am not sure which my favorite scone recipe might be, this one, or my traditional buttermilk scone recipe!  I might just have to do a taste test....

Cream Scones
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
makes 8 scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TB baking powder
3 TB sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 TB cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup currents or other chopped dried fruit (I used tart cherries!)
1 cup heavy cream

Move your oven rack to the center, and preheat the oven to 425F.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  You could also do this in a food processor with a steel blade, if you want.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives, working until the mixture looks like coarse meal, with all butter lumps no larger than pea-sized.  Stir in the dried fruit.  If using the food processor, distribute the butter over the flour mixture pulse 10-12 times.   Add the dried fruit and pulse one time.  Transfer the dough to a large bowl if it was in the food processor.

Stir in the heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork, until the mixture begins to look like dough.  This takes about 30 seconds.   Don't stir too much!  It just needs to barely come together.

Transfer the dough and all of the floury-bits from the bowl onto the counter or a piece of parchment and knead JUST until the dough comes together a bit more, 5-10 seconds.  If there are still some pieces left out, no big deal, it will all come together in the next step.

Press the dough into an 8-inch cake pan (this is what helps those extra random pieces get into your dough) and then turn it out again onto a piece of lightly floured parchment or other surface.  Cut into 8 wedges with a sharp knife or a bench scraper.  You could also just pat the dough into a circle approximately 8 inches in diameter and the cut out the wedges.  Place the wedges onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tops are golden.  Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes.  Serve while warm. 
Printable Recipe

Thank goodness we were out of buttermilk!  It gave me the impetus to try these scones, which are downright amazing.  I HIGHLY recommend that you whip up a bunch, right about now! 

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