So I rummaged through my kitchen oddment basket and came up with the lovely pastry blender I bought as a flea market a long time ago. This is a hand tool that insures the butter and flour or sugar don't get too warm if you're mixing with your hands; or too over-beaten when using a stand mixer. Whether it was the new recipe or the pastry blender, the scones came out light and fluffy and full of the tang of fresh orange juice, orange zest, and fresh and dried cranberries. This is a keeper, and perfect for the holidays coming up, when hungry company arrives before the table is set - or wrapped in cello and nestled in a basket for giving. Just make sure the scones completely cool before packaging.
Tender Cranberry-Orange Scones:
Preheat oven to 380F.
Line a baking sheet with clean foil or parchment.
- 2 cups King Arthur all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- good pinch of kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
- 1 small egg, beaten slightly with a fork
- 1/4 cup sour cream (I used Hood's full fat)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Optional: 1/4 cup water if mixture is too dry
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- sparkling sugar for sprinkling on top
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixer bowl.
Add the butter pieces and mix with the pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Add the orange zest and mix in with a spoon.
In another bowl, beat the egg and whisk in the sour cream and orange juice.
Add to the flour mixture and use the mixer paddle to briefly mix. Stop the mixer and add the fresh and dried cranberries, and stir with a spoon. If the mixer is too dry, add 1/4 cup water. Mix with the paddle very briefly, then turn dough onto a floured board.
Gently pat the dough into a 7 inch circle, then slice into 8 triangles.
Place the triangles on the baking sheet and sprinkle with sparkling sugar before baking.
Bake for approximately 19 minutes, or until scones are gently toasted on top.
Using a spatula, remove scones to a cooling rack for five or ten minutes before eating.
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!