My recipe for cranberry-orange scones first appeared in Vermont Country Store Cookbook, developed by one of my recipe testers to replace the one that Mildred Orton baked for her family. Due to the whole wheat flour she used, hers were rather dense and slightly serious; it was necessary to eat them right away, as they did not keep for more than a half hour without becoming too heavy for today’s tastes. You’ll find that my recipe is just the right blend of flour and butter, with the tang of citrus and cranberries and the lightness of cream.Print
My recipe for cranberry orange scones first appeared in Vermont Country Store Cookbook, developed by one of my recipe testers and was good enough to convince me that scones were not as tricky as might appear. While the dough is soft, gentle handling promises satisfying results. The key is grating the chilled butter with a grater, to keep the pieces evenly small. You’ll find that my recipe is just the right blend of flour and butter, with the tang of citrus and cranberries and the lightness of cream. This time of year when fresh cranberries are in season, it’s the best time of year to give it a try.
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 large eggs
Whole milk, for brushing
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture. Mix with a fork to evenly distribute the butter. When the butter is generally absorbed, and mixture resembles pea-size pieces, stir in the cranberries and orange zest.
In a separate bowl, stir together the cream, orange juice, and eggs. Slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until blended, just until a rough dough forms. Take care not to overmix.
Flour the surface of a wooden cutting board. Turn out the dough and gently shape it into a ball, then press it lightly into a rectangle 2 to 2 1/2 inches high. Using a dough cutter or a knife, cut the dough crosswise into six smaller rectangles and then cut these into twelve equal triangles. Place the triangles evenly spaced about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and flatten them slightly.
Using a pastry brush, brush the scones lightly with milk and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.