blood orange and cherry cream scones

March 23rd, 2009

I am a lover of scones. I would pick a scone over a muffin any day. There’s just something about their buttery heft that makes my taste buds do a little dance. I’ve made them before and they’ve turned out pretty good (although sometimes they end up looking like a puddle of a scone). But I’m always on the lookout for something better and let me tell you, I have found the best scone recipe known to man. This is no joke my friends.

But let’s back up for a second. All this scone madness started because I found some blood oranges on sale at the store and I just needed to make something with them. I like to start the weekend out with something tasty, so I came up with the idea of scones with candied orange peel and dried cherries. Sounds delicious, right? Well candying orange peel is a little time consuming and in hindsight, may have been a little ambitious. That’s not to say it wasn’t fun or tasty, because it was both, but for morning baking, it may be a bit much for some people.

Once I’d candied the orange peels, I let them cool for a bit and got started on the dough. I found this recipe over on Smitten Kitchen, but it’s originally from America’s Test Kitchen… that’s like double satisfaction guaranteed. And as an added bonus, it’s super easy to make. The key, I believe, is butter temperature. Keep it cold. I actually pre-cut my butter and then put it in the freezer while I mixed the other ingredients together. Once the dough was mixed together, I kneaded it for a minute or so and then pressed it into a square baking sheet to give it shape and then flipped it onto the counter. I like my scones triangular, so I cut it into four squares and then cut a diagonal line in each square to create 8 scones. Then into the oven they went.

My stomach was growling and luckily in only a mere 15 minutes the scones had baked to a flaky golden hue. Oh the restraint I showed waiting for those puppies to cool. Well, the time came to try them out and as you may have guessed, they are the most excellent scones ever! They are the perfect combination of a moist, buttery biscuit with hints of orange goodness and then of course you’ll bite into a cherry every now and then. Really, I just can’t say enough about how perfect they are. So behold, the best scone recipe that you will ever need.

Blood Orange & Cherry Cream Scones

adapted via smitten kitchen via America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

I use this dough for all my scones—I’ve added fresh berries, other dried berries, nuts—just about anything—and it’s always dreamy.

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1/2 cup dried cherries

2 Tablespoons candied orange peel, chopped*,

1 cup heavy cream

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.

3. If making by hand

Use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in dried cherries.

If using food processor:

Remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add dried cherries and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.

4. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form scones by pressing the dough into an 8-inch cake pan, then turning the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, cutting the dough into 8 wedges with either a knife or bench scraper.

6. Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Ok, so about the candied orange peels. They are good, but if you’d rather skip that, I think you could just use the same amount of orange zest. I haven’t tried this, but i feel confident that it will provide you with a similar orange flavor, you just won’t have the little chunks in the scone.

Candied Orange Peel
adapted from epicurious

2 Blood oranges
1 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup water

1. Using vegetable peeler, remove orange part of peel from orange in long strips.2. Stir 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Add orange peel; simmer 15 minutes.3. Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar in small bowl. Using slotted spoon, remove peel from syrup and transfer to sugar. Toss to coat. Cool, tossing occasionally. Cover bowl and let stand at room temperature overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep covered.)

Comments: 13 Total

  1. Sarah

    March 23, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I’m also on Team Scone. Just had one on Friday and the husband teased me saying “Aren’t scones just wannabe muffins?” I jumped into a five minute lecture on the superiority of scones. lol. These look so yummy. Love the citrus!

  2. Whitney

    March 23, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I also LOVE scones. Especially on a Saturday morning with a big mug of coffee.

    This recipe from Eggs on Sunday is also a keeper.

  3. Elyse

    March 24, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Mmm, I love scones. And the flavors you’ve used are just divine! I wish I could get my hands on one of these right now!

  4. Winter Owl

    March 24, 2009 at 8:13 am

    O. K., candying orange peels is not in my experience file.
    How did you do it?

  5. Kelly

    March 24, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Winter Owl:
    Thanks for reminding me to post the candied orange peels recipe. I just added it to the original post.
    One of the benefits of making that candied orange peel is you get delicious orange simple syrup.

  6. Bridget

    March 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    What a fun blog! I just stumbled across you. :) These scones look amazing!

  7. finsmom

    March 27, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Scones are my very favourite food of all time. Yours look amazing! YUM! Thanks for sharing this tasty recipe! I cant wait to try it!

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