Today is Mother’s Day – happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing women out there who have children. No one can hold a candle to my own mother, although my mother-in-law is pretty close, incredibly enough. I have come to realize that it is an unbelievable blessing to have a sane and pleasant mother-in-law.
Anyway, Joshua and I hosted a Mother’s Day brunch in our apartment this morning. Among other brunchy things, which my sisters and sister-in-law-in-law (my brother-in-law’s wife) provided, I made scones.
I’ve been making scones since I was about 12. Actually, longer than that, but at the age of 12, I started doing it on my own. My mom had a page ripped out of a magazine with a scone recipe, and that become our springboard for who knows how many variations. The original recipe was for cranberry orange scones, but the ones I made this morning were almond apricot. The recipe is really quite versatile, and a true favorite. I’ve also made them for an elderly British couple in the past, who declared them the absolute best scones they’ve ever had – far better than any true English equivalent. So here it is, in it’s original form. I have added notes for variation ideas at the end.
CRANBERRY ORANGE SCONES
I think these may have been from Southern Living or Cooking Light.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind
1/2 cup butter, cut up
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup dried cranberries
2-3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine first 6 ingredients; cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly (butter pieces should be no larger than peas). Add buttermilk and dried cranberries, stirring just until moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 5-6 times. Pat into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges, and place 1 inch apart on a lightly greased or nonstick baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes or until scones are golden brown.
Meanwhile, combine milk and powdered sugar until it can be easily poured. Drizzle on hot scones immediately and let sit about 1 minute.
Yield: 8 servings, for ladies, or 4 servings for husbands.
- I find adding the dried cranberries first and stirring them in well before adding the buttermilk helps incorporate the fruit better.
- Buttermilk can be homemade by whisking a couple tablespoons of yogurt into milk, or adding fresh lemon juice to milk.
- If you wait until the scones have cooled slightly to top them with the glaze, you will have a thick white glaze with a slight crunch to it, as opposed to the glaze melting into the hot scone and giving you a sweet shimmer
- For lemon-blueberry scones, replace orange rind with lemon rind, substitute dried or fresh blueberries for cranberries, and use lemon juice to make the glaze instead of milk.
- For mocha scones, replace cranberries with chocolate chips, omit orange rind, and add 2 Tbsp. ground coffee or espresso powder.
- For lemon-poppyseed scones, replace orange rind with lemon rind, substitute 1/4 cup poppyseeds for cranberries, and use lemon juice to make the glaze instead of milk.
- For cinnamon-golden-raisin scones, replace sugar with brown sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon, omit orange rind, and replace cranberries with golden raisins. Add a little brown sugar to the glaze and/or use maple syrup to make it.
- For apricot-almond scones, replace cranberries with 2/3 cup chopped dried apricots and 1/3 cup sliced almonds. Add a few tablespoons of amaretto to the buttermilk and glaze for extra flavor.
Joshua says: 10.5 out of 10. He compared these to a pecan sandy, but with more moisture (?). He went on and on for minutes on end. It was beautiful. Warning, though: they are not half as good the second day. If toasted, they’re passable. If microwaved, they’re comparable to a swimming flipper.