By: Erin Walgamuth
All of this rainy weather has inspired me to do some baking. To be honest, it doesn’t take much for me to be inspired to bake. It’s sunny, it’s cloudy, the dog wants to go outside, and the laundry needs to be done…you know, the same-old-same-old.
Well, it’s going to rain this afternoon and my daughter asked if I would make scones for her when she gets home from school. I have been making these delicious treats since my children were babies and they remain a favorite to this day.
The recipe I am going to share with you produces scones that are light in texture, unlike the usual hockey-puck version you would find in most bakeries. My secret you ask? I only use self-rising flour, which is the typical flour used for scones in the UK and elsewhere in Northern Europe. Unlike all-purpose flour, self-rising flour has baking powder and salt already added. Over the years I have tried recipes that require the baker to add the leavening agents to the mix. The usual result was a heavy scone that nobody liked very much. So, I guess the old if-it’s-not-broke-don’t-fix-it saying applies here.
I have been using Sun-Maid Zante currants for many years. These small dried fruits are actually Zante raisins and not currants at all. They are smaller than the common raisin and a bit tart tasting. Dried currants are my favorite however, but they are a seasonal find. You can buy them at Trader Joe’s in the fall, so for now, use the Sun-Maid version.
I serve these tasty beauties with seedless raspberry jam and whipped cream.
I hope you enjoy the scones, even if it’s not raining.
Zante Currant Scones with Raspberry Jam and Cream
Makes 8-2” scones or 6-3” scones
Prep-time 20 minutes
Cook time 10-13 minutes
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Note-I love my Air-Bake baking sheets. The bottoms of scones and cookies come out golden brown, but don’t burn. I buy my sheets at Target.
You will need:
Lightly greased baking sheet, I use butter
2 cup measuring cup
2 large bowls
1 small bowl
2” or 3” biscuit cutter
Hand mixer or standing mixer for the cream
Small pastry brush for brushing egg and milk mixture over top of scones
For the scones
2 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter cut into pieces
¼ cup Sun-Maid Zante Currants
½ cup milk, whole or 2%
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Additional all-purpose flour for dusting wooden board and kneading dough
Raw sugar for sprinkling on top of scones
For the cream
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Put the cream and sugar in a large bowl. Whip the cream with the hand mixer until it holds firm peaks, this takes about 7 minutes. Put whipped cream in the refrigerator while you make the scones.
Whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla in the 2 cup measuring cup. Set aside 2 tablespoon of the mixture in the small bowl.
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Mix ingredients together with a fork to combine well. Add the pieces of cold butter. Use the pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse meal. There will be pieces of butter visible. Add the Zante Currants and stir them in with a fork to distribute evenly.
Slowly add the egg and milk mixture to the flour mixture; gently mix together with the fork until just combined. The dough should be a bit sticky, but not runny. DO NOT USE A HAND MIXER. You may have some milk mixture left over.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured wooden cutting board. Gently knead the dough, adding small amounts of flour until the dough is not sticky anymore, but still soft. Pat dough down with your hands and shape into an 8” round. Dip the biscuit cutter in all-purpose flour and cut out scones. Place scones on lightly greased baking sheet about three inches apart for the 3” scones and two inches apart for the 2” scones. Brush the top of the scones with the reserved milk mixture and sprinkle with the raw sugar.
Bake the scones for 10-13 minutes or until they are a light golden color on top. Cool for about 5 minutes. Slice scones in half through the middle. Spread raspberry jam on each half and top with a dollop of cream.
I am sure that these light and lovely scones will become a favorite of your family too!
Erin Walgamuth has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe section.
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