Simple Cream Scones

I woke up late Saturday morning and decided that what I really wanted for breakfast was a scone.  Where that came from, I don’t know.  But what a great idea!  I love scones. They always seem so fancy,  but they are really easy to make.  The base is made in the food processor and the cream is mixed in by hand.    You then shape the dough into a disk, cut them into triangles, and bake them. Not so hard right?  I enjoy mine with a topping of coarse sugar and strawberry jelly while my husband likes his plain with cinnamon sugar.  The recipe makes eight, which is perfect because Justin and I each get two for breakfast the first day and I have four to freeze for a second breakfast later.  Of course, my kids won’t eat scones, so they have cereal instead…their loss, our gain. 😀

Simple Cream Scones

Yield: 8 scones

2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and chilled

1/2 cup currants (optional)

1 cup cream (plus more if needed to form dough)

Adjust oven rack to middle and preheat oven to 450°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Pulse flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in the food processor to combine, 3 pulses.  Scatter butter evenly over the top, pulse until it resembles coarse cornmeal with a few larger lumps of butter, about 12 pulses.  Transfer to a large bowl and stir in currants if using.  Stir in the cream with a rubber spatula until a dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.  If it looks too dry, drizzle in more cream a bit at a time until it becomes a more cohesive dough, but still some floury bits should remain.  Turn the bowl onto a floured counter and knead until it forms a rough, sticky ball, ~ 5 to 10 seconds. Press the dough into a 9 inch cake pan, to get a flattened disk. Turn the dough out, and cut the dough into 8 wedges.

Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet. I like to brush them with cream and sprinkle coarse sugar on them at this stage.  Then, bake until lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Watch carefully, the color can change quickly!  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

To make ahead:

The cut, unbaked scones can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours, then baked as directed. They can also be frozen for up to 1 month.   Bake frozen scones as directed, increasing the baking time to 20 to 25 minutes.

No food processor?

Use a pastry cutter or two forks to cut the butter into the dry ingredients by hand instead of by food processor. Then proceed.

Source:  The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

Helpful Hints: 

  • Scones are best right after they are baked.  If you are not going to eat them right away, do not bake them. Instead freeze them to bake later.
  • I like to spray the cake pan for shaping the scones with Pam and wipe out the excess.  That way, the disk of dough releases easily, so I can cut it into triangles.
  • Try to handle the dough as little as possible, or they will not be flaky and a good scone should be.

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