Monday 1 February 2016

Cranberry Orange Scones

Recently, I've developed a taste for the slightly more 'out-there' and unassuming flavour combinations. Ok, cranberry and orange aren't exactly unusual, I'll give you that one. But I do think these scones are a bit outta the ordinary if all you've ever had are those plain ones along with clotted cream and jam, or the ones riddled with sultanas at a push. Now that's ordinary!

These on the other hand are infused with orange zest and packed full of delightfully tart cranberries. They act as a strong counteract to the sweetness of the sugar which is sprinkled all over the scones, rendering for both sweet and tart. Perfect!

I suppose you could swap the orange for lemon if you have them to hand, but be warned... as only these will suit the most tarteist of palates, for which I am not. Hence why I used orange instead.

This recipe is adapted from an old blog post written by the lovely 'Pastry Affair' (even the name gets me interested, but her recipes are to die for!) In hers she uses lemon, so that's one of my changes but also in the scone mixture she calls for heavy cream, I used milk instead. This substitution worked reasonably well, I have used milk before in many a scone recipe so I had no doubts there initially. Yet, I don't know if the substitution had anything to do with this or not, (or if it was the size of my egg) but I did find that adding all of the liquid made it incredibly wet. AND I MEAN WET!!!

Perhaps natural yoghurt would have been a better alternative in hindsight, and confusing as it is, I have always been led to believe that a slightly wet dough is actually better in order to create that desired soft and fluffy texture. Though, I think I had digressed a lot from that 'slightly' wet stage. I was way beyond that line. So much so that I was doing that annoying thing of chucking in flour just so that I could render some sort of a circular shape to cut from. Of course this was only going to mess up the ratios but surprisingly ... as you can see from the photos, they turned out better than expected!

If I have put you off from making this now then please don't be! (This was just me rambling on with intentions of arriving at long last to this somewhat of a conclusion... ) you'll be pleased to know I have altered quantities below (yaaayy) and asserted that you must add in the milk slowly, bit by bit because you might not need it all depending on how big your egg is. That was well worth the wait wasn't it, I can tell you're so relieved to hear that now?

Note: They're satisfying enough served warm straight out of the oven with butter, just so it melts, and if your sugar cravings aren't yet fulfilled - have some jam too! Although marmalade would've probably been a better companion. I just didn't think of it at the time. Oh well.

Cranberry  Orange  Scones

Recipe adapted from the Pastry Affair blog.

Makes 8


250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tbsp granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tbsp baking powder
Zest from 2 oranges (about 1-2 tablespoons)
Pinch of salt
115g butter, cold and cubed
110g dried cranberries
90ml full fat milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional orange glaze:

70g icing sugar
Approx the juice of ½ orange


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ gas 4. Prepare 2 baking trays by flouring lightly.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, and salt. Add in thc cubed butter and rub together with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. If using a mixer, mix in butter with a paddle attachment until the butter is pea-sized or smaller, then stir in the cranberries.

In a small bowl/jug, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla extract until well blended. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients bit by bit, (you may not need all the liquid due to the size of your egg) and mix until it comes together as a dough (it should be slightly wet).

Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a circle using your hands, flattening the top until the dough is roughly an inch thick. With a knife dipped into flour, cut the dough into 8 triangular shaped pieces and transfer to the prepared baking trays. Sprinkle the tops with a little granulated sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until scones are lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature before glazing.

Optional: To make the glaze, beat together the icing sugar with some orange juice, adding the juice slowly so you have just enough to make a glaze which is a drizzle-like consistency and runs off the spoon. Lightly drizzle glaze over the scones and allow the scones to sit for a few minutes for the glaze to set before serving.

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