Scones for Spring

Carol

Some girls take the advent of spring to mean that it’s about time to shed the excess winter weight and get their butts into gear in time for bikini weather. This belief is especially prevalent in the fashion industry wherein thinness is a virtue prized above any other. But if you’re like us? Well, we just see spring as an excuse to hit the farmer’s market for all that fresh seasonal produce and dream up some new recipes in our shoebox city kitchens.

The tart, refreshing taste of Meyer lemons is perfect in the warmer months, and we incorporate them into any and every concoction possible. It’s no surprise, then, that we fell in love with this recipe for creamy, flaky, fragrant scones that are just the thing to bake up on a lazy weekend morning when the first spring thaw is creeping slowly up on you. Happy baking.

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From Smitten Kitchen:

Meyer Lemon Fresh Cranberry Scones
Adapted from Gourmet

One of my favorite things about scones is how well they work when you need to plan in advance. Simply roll them out and cut them before flash-freezing them separately on a tray, and sealing them in a freezer bag until you’re ready to bake them. You can bake them right from the freezer, only needing to add 3 to 5 extra minutes baking time. Scones are always best when they’re freshly baked.

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons; preferably Meyer)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons additional if using fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 1/4 cups fresh cranberries, chopped coarse, or 1 1/4 cups dried cranberries, if you insist
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream

Accompaniment: creme fraiche or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 400°F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

With a vegetable peeler remove the zest from lemons and chop fine, reserving lemons for another use.

In a food processor pulse flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and zest until mixture resembles coarse meal and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl toss together fresh cranberries and 3 tablespoons sugar and stir into flour mixture. If using dried fruit, add to flour mixture.

In another small bowl lightly beat egg and yolk and stir in cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

On a well-floured surface with floured hands pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round (about 8 inches in diameter) and with a 2-inch round cutter or rim of a glass dipped in flour cut out as many rounds as possible, rerolling scraps as necessary. Arrange rounds about 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until pale golden.

[I decided to rebel and pat them into a square and cut them into smaller ones. The square shapes didn’t keep very well, so I don’t recommend this! Learn from me, people.]

Serve scones warm with creme fraiche or whipped cream. Scones keep, individually wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, chilled, 1 day or frozen 1 week.

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