Soft, tender and buttery, these are the ultimate cream scones! Flavored with orange, you can have freshly baked scones in 45 minutes.
- 2 ¼ cups (315g) pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (65g) 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, very cold
- ½ cup cream, very cold, plus extra for brushing the tops of the scones
- Preheat 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. (If making by hand use a large bowl and cut the butter with your hands or a pastry cutter. Then follow the recipe below).
- 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.
My 3 tips for making the best scones:
- Very cold ingredients. I’m not kidding when I say frozen butter, at least very cold. And don’t take the cream half an hour before you start mixing the scones. Butter, cream, milk, they belong in the fridge until you need to scatter and pour them.
- Don't overwork the dough. It should come together but still have floury patches. You don’t need to work it until it’s smooth, like a pie dough for instance. It is an uneven dough, with dry spots, and that’s good for flakiness later.
- A rather high oven. They need that extra heat (and baking powder) to rise however they can in spite of all that butter and cream. And if by any chance you forgot to turn the oven on before you start with the mixing, please don’t leave the baking sheet with the cut scones waiting on the counter. Put them in the fridge or freezer the ten or fifteen minutes it takes for the oven to reach its temperature.
Keywords: orange scones, cream scones