Monday, June 2, 2014

Lemon Cream Scones with Currants...

Scones, scones, who loves scones? I do, I do, we do! Back in my days in the Kraft Kitchens, batches of scones were often whipped up to serve during a breakfast meeting or in celebration of an occasion. Sometimes they were plain with lemon curd or clotted cream served on the side, and then there were these moist but slightly crumbly cranberry ones... were they ever good! Not an interested baker back then, I would admire my baking peers at it in the kitchens and savour the delectable bites each time goods emerged hot from the oven. Since having kids, I've developed a growing passion for baking, and when I perfected this version of scones, was I ever over the moon. These are my absolute favourite and my kids love them-- or scroll down for a chocolate chip version (equally delicious)!

Lemon Cream Scones with Currants
Makes 8 scones

3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. cold 35% heavy cream (I know, but cream makes the scones real tender)
1 large egg
1/4 tsp. lemon oil or 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and levelled), plus more for work surface
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and place in freezer for five to 10 minutes.
2/3 cup dried black currants
Coarse or sanding sugar

1)  Preheat oven to 400 degrees (I like to use the convection oven as the batch of scones don't take much space and to save energy). Whisk together 3/4 cup cream and egg, then lemon oil or zest. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Purchase lemon oil at specialty food or 
baking stores. 

2) Cut cold butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Stir in currants. With a fork, stir in cream mixture until just combined. TIP: Cold butter makes the scones flaky!     

I use my fingers to break down the butter.

Only a few pea size butter pieces should remain.

The dough should be crumbly; do not overwork.

3) Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 6-inch circle. Cut into eight wedges and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake until golden, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.

Let cool slightly on a rack and serve warm!

A perfect breakfast treat with my morning cuppa'!

Or change it up-- remove the lemon essence and add 2/3 cup of chocolate chips along with the black currants for another reason for your children to adore you in the morning. It works for me every time :)

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