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KAREN'S MASTER SCONE RECIPE

Karen making scones

Scones

Start with 1 stick of butter (113 gram). Keep it very cold and cut it into bits - lengthwise into four quarters, then slice across into about 1 cm pieces. After you've cut up the butter, put it back into the fridge to stay cold (or even into the freezer for a few minutes if your kitchen is hot).

Before you start with your dry mix, get your cream and add-ins ready. Put 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream into a bowl. Add whatever add-ins you plan to use (see some ideas at the end of the master recipe) into the cream and give it a little stir.

Ingredients

  • 355g all-purpose flour

  • 55g sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  • Swizzle this around in the food processor.

  • Now break the butter bits into the flour mix, spreading them around fairly equally. Pulse the food processor (in my Cuisinart, it is 11 quick pulses). You are looking for a sort of sandy consistency, with some larger pea-sized buttery crumbs here and there.

  • Pour the cream and add-ins into the bowl of the food processor. Give a few quick pulses until the dough ­barely holds together. Sometimes it ends up really sandy, sometimes more of a blob. I really don't know why, but it doesn't seem to matter in the end.

  • Turn this mess out onto a lightly floured board. Knead this gently until it just holds together (not exactly kneading as you would bread dough...more like pressing the loose bits into one cohesive blob). Fold it into itself a couple of times, then form it into a fat log.

  • Cut the dough in half (or not, if you want bigger scones) and flatten it with your palms into a disc, about 3/4 inch thick. Pat it on top and sides until you've got a nice circle with fairly vertical sides. Cut your disc into 8 triangles (four cuts across the circle). Place these on a baking tray and freeze uncovered.

  • If you plan to bake these right away, freeze for 10 minutes before baking. If you want to save them for another time, freeze on the baking tray until the scones are good and hard. When they are fully frozen, pop them into a ziplock freezer bag until you are ready to bake them.

 

Baking Instructions

Prehead the oven to 400 degrees. Double up your baking sheet, placing one right inside the other to prevent the bottom from burning before the scone is done inside (or treat yourself to an air bake tray, which is insulated and prevents burning). Bake frozen  scones for 14 minutes or so, until the tops are slightly golden. Give your scones a little tap on top...they should be slightly soft inside but not mushy. Let these lovelies cool for a few minutes then carefully transfer to a rack to cool a bit more. These are best while still warm, but if you've done a good job they'll be delicious for a couple of hours.

Add-In Suggestions

  • Fig and Vanilla: about 3/4 cup chopped dried figs and a teaspoon of vanilla

  • Lemon Ginger: zest of one lemon, 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger, 1/2 cup crystallized ginger

  • Orange Currant: zest of one orange, 2/3 cup (or a bit more) dried currants

  • Cranberry Lime: zest of one lime, 2/3 cup dried cranberries

 

I haven't had success with fresh fruit -- too much liquid. I personally dislike chocolate chips in scones, but if you like them be my guest. And I really don't like glazed scones -- one of the beautiful things about a scone is that it isn't terribly sweet.

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