These are the best scones I have ever had, hands down. When I first made these, my husband was reluctant to try them, telling me that he didn’t like scones because they were rock hard stones. WHAT?!? I said, what scones were these? He told me they were the ones sold by Aramark at the University we both went to. I said HOLD ON, you can NOT judge a food by an Aramark experience (our school food was awful. Just to give you an idea of what it was like, it was not surprising to discover that upon biting into a piece of pizza, the dough was raw). Well, fortunately I made him some REAL scones, and my goodness, these are so so so good. They’re crumbly and soft but crisp on the edges, and the orange and cranberry go so beautifully together. Here’s how to make them:
3 cups all purpose flour (14 oz by weight)
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 orange, zested
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (real cinnamon, please)
1/16 tsp ground cloves (optional)
1/16 tsp ground nutmeg (also optional. If you have it, put it in. It’s a small amount, but cloves and nutmeg round out the flavor of the cinnamon)
1.5 sticks cold butter
1 cup dried cranberries (or you can use cherries or other dried fruit)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until combined. Mmm…doesn’t it smell SO GOOD?!?!?!
Cut the butter up into pea sized pieces. Add the butter to your dry ingredients bowl and rub the butter and flour mixture with your fingers until a coarse meal forms, and all the cubes of butter have been rubbed.
Dump in your cranberries and almonds, and toss with your hands to evenly incorporate them. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and add in your cream, starting only with the 1/2 cup. Using your hands, incorporate the cream to make a dough. If the dough feels too crumbly and won’t come together when you press it with your fingers, add the next 2 tbsp, one tbsp at a time.
Dump your scone mixture onto your countertop, and if looks all crumbly, it’s okay. You should be able to press it together (and if you can’t, put the crumbly dough back in the bowl and add another tbsp of cream).
Form a 1-1.5 inch disk with the scone dough, and use a knife to cut it up into 6-8 wedges.
If the dough crumbles, don’t worry about it, just press it together again. Place the scone wedges on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let them rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Enjoy your crumbly soft scones! I would love to hear your comments, questions, or suggestions below. Thanks for reading!
Recipe graciously adapted from Anne Burrell’s Dried Cherry Almond Scones. Love her!