If you turn on the oven now, in an hour you can have the kitchen smelling amazing and these buttery, mildly sweet orange and cream mini scones standing beside your mug of tea – coffee for me please.
They are by far my favorite recipe; no surprise since it comes from Nancy Silverton, one of my most admired bakers ever.
If there was a tea time tradition in my family (as explained in the post on strawberry buttermilk scones) it was to eat freshly baked scones, something that made me a scone fan, both for eating and making.
After two scorching, three digit, humid summers, this one is letting us breathe. Finally, summer baking is something to look forward to again.
The food was great – lots of lamb – and I came back with two cocktail recipes that I will make soon.
Well, it never happened. But it’s no reason for you to not have the recipe and enjoy a chilly afternoon drinking hot chocolate and eating these straight from the oven.
I love these with lemon zest too, or a mix of orange and lemon. Enjoy!
Orange and Cream Mini Scones
For freshly baked scones every time: cut them, put them in the baking sheet, cover with film or foil and freeze. When you want to eat them, turn the oven on, then brush with cream and bake frozen.
- 2 ¼ cups (315g) pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus some extra for sprinkling before baking
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 6 oz. (180g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ½ cup cream, plus extra for brushing the tops of the scones
- oven to 350ºF / 180ºC. Grease or line with parchment paper two baking sheets.
- In the bowl of a food processor, put flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Process a few seconds just to mix.
- Scatter butter over this mixture and orange zest, and pulse a few times until the butter is the size of peas.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
- Pour milk and cream and quickly with a fork, mix everything until most of it is moist.
- Dump it onto the kitchen counter and quickly give it a few turns to avoid very dry spots. Some dry parts will remain and that is OK. The more you touch it and mix it, the tougher the baked scones will be.
- Pat the mixture about 2-inches high. With a round, small cookie cutter, cut scones (you might need to dip the cutter periodically in flour to aid with this) quickly and arrange them on the baking sheets.
- Brush tops with additional cream and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until tops are golden and risen.
- Eat warm.
- Keep them on a tin, but even if eaten the next day, they are best briefly warmed in the oven.
adapted from Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, by Nancy Silverton