There’s always been something tremendously daunting to me about the prospect of making scones. Maybe it has something to do with all of that butter being crumbled or cut into really small pieces. I say, life is too short to do any of that. Maybe it has something to do with cutting out triangle shapes of dough. (Way more complicated than circles, right?)
I don’t know. I can’t put a finger on it. But after a co-worker brought in some fresh baked scones, still warm and slathered with butter, I became a believer. I decided to throw caution to the wind and try to make a batch at home.
What I’ve discovered is that a cream scone recipe is infinitely easier – no butter to mix in! – and the results are light, flaky, fluffy gorgeousness. My go-to recipe comes courtesy of Epicurious.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raisins or your dried fruit of choice (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (optional – I’ve tried with and without)
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Stir in raisins (or dried fruit of choice) and 1 tablespoon lemon peel. Add whipping cream and stir just until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently just until dough holds together. Form dough into 10-inch-diameter, 1/2-inch-thick round.
Cut into 12 wedges. Transfer wedges to large baking sheet, spacing evenly. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon peel in small bowl. Brush scones with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar mixture.
Bake scones until light golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Transfer to rack and cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Wrap in foil; store at room temperature.) Serve scones warm or at room temperature.
Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it! And the results are well worth the 20 minutes of effort.
As a side note, purists and triangle haters can also adapt this recipe to make more traditional British cream scones by using a round biscuit cutter and eating it with jam and clotted cream. In this case, I would personally leave out the lemon zest and dried fruit from the recipe, but that’s entirely your call.