Monday, September 6, 2010

An Early Scone Season: Cranberry Almond Scones

Sunday was a beautiful dry and breezy day.  The evening was cool and delightful. So what the heck, I thought, let's brave it and not turn the air conditioner on tonight.  I am somewhat addicted to the white noise of my air conditioner.  I think my pup Sweetpea is too.  It blocks out all the random street (and air) noises that are a part of suburban living.  I usually hate the air conditioner-to-open-window transition period.  The drone of airplanes and distant trains, the sound of the newspaper delivery person's car and the "FLOP" of the paper hitting the sidewalk, not to mention the scream of a motorcycle at 2:00AM tearing down the Southern State Parkway, all drive me crazy.  Oh, and how can I forget the birds? I thought birds woke up at dawn. Not in my neighborhood!  At 3:00AM they're having a party.  If I manage to sleep through any of these annoyances, Sweetpea does not.

Much to my AMAZEMENT, it was an eerily quite night. I had a wonderful night's sleep. It was so quiet I don't even think Sweetpea woke up until the newspaper was delivered....not bad. I can't help but wonder, what happened to the birds?  And the strangest thing of all....I was cold!  Yes, it was downright chilly!  I pried myself from under the covers and headed to the kitchen  It was 53degrees outside.  I don't know what the temperature was inside the house, but since we had left several windows open, there was a definite nip in the air.  

A perfect reason to light the oven I thought.  I checked out the pantry and my eyes focused on a sack of oat flour that I picked up at the King Arthur Baker's Center in Vermont a few weeks ago.  I had some buttermilk that I wanted to use up as well.
 and then I remembered my new fluted cutters from King Arthur's...

SCONES!   ...It's a perfect morning for scones. 

                                      Cranberry Almond Scones

A note about making scones:  I like to use a food processor because I can work quickly and I don't over handle the dough.  If you don't have one, you can cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter.  Just be sure not to overmix when you add the liquid and other ingredients. Work quickly when forming the scones, the heat from your hand will melt the butter in the dough if you handle it too much and you will end up with dense hockey pucks.
Cold butter and working quickly will yield light, tender scones like this one..
This recipe has evolved over several years of scone baking.  I've adapted  recipes from Ina Garten and Martha Stewart, tweaked them a little more, and ended up with something I'm really proud of.

Yield 8-10 scones
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Line baking sheet with parchment or use a silpat

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 cubes
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1/3 cup craisins
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Combine both flours, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture looks like a course meal.  Add craisins, pulse 2 times.   Add buttermilk and egg and pulse until dough just begins to come together.  Add sliced almonds, pulse one or two more times.  Transfer dough to a floured board.  Pat dough into a round about 3/4 inch thick.  Do not over handle the dough.

Cut dough with a 2 1/2 inch cutter. Place on a  baking sheet.  Brush the tops with the cream, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake on a center rack of a 425 degree oven for 13 -15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool sightly and enjoy!

Sweetpea knows a pushover when she sees one!

No comments:

Post a Comment