So I have never tried baking scones before. And, today I wanted to bake something, like really really wanted to bake something. Baking, for me, has become something like a stress reliever. When I bake it instantly lifts my mood. Of course it does havoc for my waistline, which again puts me in depression- it’s a vicious circle, you see! But, nonetheless, the smell of a freshly baked good gives me a high like no other. What the heck, we have one life to live- eat, drink, be merry and gymming will take care of the rest!
So, I hit my cookbooks, looking for something I could experiment with. I knew I wanted to make a scone. I had never tried one before and today seemed like the perfect day to try doing so. I decided to try Rose Bakery’s scone recipe. The original recipe calls for blueberries, but I had cranberries I wanted to get rid of- so cranberry scones it was!
When using fresh cranberries in baking, it is very important to chop them. Unlike softer berries like straw, blue, mul, rasp- which tend to break down and disintegrate into baked goods, cranberries tend to swell and then pop– leaving crater holes and mushy areas in the baked goods, and then the area around a whole berry can be very tart. Chopping chunks of whole cranberries will give better texture and flavor in the scones for you. To reduce the bitterness of fresh berries I also drizzled the chopped berries with some honey or sugar.
This recipe is very easy to make and comes together in 30 minutes (including baking time!). Perfect served warm with a dollop of sour cream and a cup of tea- Oh! I feel so British!
Edited to add: These are very mildly sweet scones – the two tbsp sugar in the recipe should be a clue. The fat and sugar is also low and with the added wheatgerm, you feel you are not going overboard with calories. Their delicate flavor and texture is what makes them a winner. Serve them with butter or crème fraîche and jam and you have a nice British “brunchy” treat.
- 500g (3⅓ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
- ¼ cup wheatgerm or wholemeal (wholewheat) flour, (optional)
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 heaped tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- grated zest of 1 lemon or 1 orange
- 110g (scant ½ cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
- 2 handfuls cranberries
- 2 tbsp honey or sugar
- 2 eggs
- about 300 ml (1¼ cups) whole, semi-skimmed or soya (soy) milk
- 1- 2 tbsp demerara (light brown) sugar
- 1 cup cinnamon chips (optional)
- crème fraîche (sour cream), butter or jam to serve
- Chop the cranberries. In a bowl add the cranberries and 2 tbsp honey. Leave for at least half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Sift the plain flour into a bowl and add the wheatgerm, if using.
- Mix in the baking powder, caster sugar and salt, then add the butter and rub in with your fingers until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs.
- Mix in the lemon or orange zest.
- Add the cranberries and mix well.
- Beat one of the eggs in a measuring jug, then add enough milk to reach the 300 ml (1¼ cup) level.
- Make a well in the middle, pour in the liquid and use a fork to work it into the dry ingredients. Finish by hand but without overworking the mixture- just lightly bring everything together to form a softish but firm dough. If it is too dry add a little more milk, and if it is too wet add some more flour. it must not be sticky at all.
- On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough into a solid shape about 3 cm (1¼ inches) thick.
- Using a 5 cm (2 inch) cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place them on the greased baking tray so that they almost touch.
- Beat the remaining egg and use to glaze the tops of the scones.
- Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.
- The scones will stick together, so take them gently apart when they have cooled a little.
- Serve warm with crème fraîche, butter or jam or all three.