British Scones with Orange Zest & Cranberries

Scones have been haunting me for the last few weeks now. And when I mean haunt, I mean I see myself making them in my sleep!  I had some great scones during last month’s vacation in the Finger Lakes, NY. They were American style scones – large, crumbly triangles with cranberry and orange. Absolutely delicious. I have actually never made scones before and thought the right way to start is with a British recipe.  I am a huge fan of Mary Berry’s (aren’t we all!) and this one is a play on hers. The process is very straightforward, but there are two things to bear in mind: don’t overwork the dough and make sure your cut outs are sharp and clean (don’t twist the cutter or your scones won’t rise evenly). They came out absolute perfection – crumbly on the outside, light and soft on the inside with a lingering flavour of orange zest. Butter and marmalade is the only way to go for me! Perfect Sunday breakfast…although ate way too many! 😀

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Ingredients:

  • 250 g / 9 oz self-raising flour (or mix 250 g all-purpose flour with 3 tsp baking powder)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 40 g/ 1 1/2 oz softened butter
  • 50 g/ 1 oz caster sugar (also knows as superfine, not powdered!), fine light brown sugar also works
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 100 ml / 3 1/2 fl oz milk
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 heaped tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 425 F / 220 C. Line baking tray with baking paper and grease the surface with butter.

Put the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and gently rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Be sure to only use your fingers, not whole hands so that the butter doesn’t melt completely.

In a measuring cup beat the egg, vanilla extract  and milk, then set aside a tablespoon for glazing the scones. Gradually stir  the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients, just until you have a soft dough. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and very gently knead (about 10 turns). Then roll it out until it is about 2 cm/ 3/4″ thick. Use a 4 cm / 1 1/2″ cookie cutter to cut out the scones. Gather the trimmings together and pat out again to cut more scones.

Arrange the scones on the baking tray and brush with the remaining milk mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden-brown and well risen. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. I served my scones warm, with butter and orange marmalade.

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2 thoughts on “British Scones with Orange Zest & Cranberries

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