Sweet Clementine Scones
Light buttery scones scented with the zest of a clementine, and studded with cranberries soaked in Grand Marnier, perfect with a cup of hot tea.
This recipe makes the flakiest, most tender scones I've ever tasted. Frozen butter is the secret.
Instead of using a pastry blender to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients, you simply toss grated frozen butter with the flour mixture to combine. It's a whole lot less work and the dough bakes up into a superior scone. I use this same method when making pie crusts and it works like a charm.
To make these scones for yourself, you'll need:
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 /2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup frozen unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup cold milk
- zest of one clementine, finely grated
- egg wash- 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
Grand Marnier Glaze:
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 3-4 tablespoons icing sugar
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a small bowl, soak the dried cranberries in the Grand Marnier.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a big bowl until everything has been evenly distributed.
Grate the butter over a sheet of parchment using a box grater.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients and toss together with your fingertips to blend.
Add the milk, clementine zest, and cranberries and stir until the mixture just barely hold together. Use the handle of your wooden spoon, or a chopstick to stir, in order to avoid overworking the the dough.
Turn out the dough out onto a well floured surface and very delicately knead it couple of times, using the lightest touch. Your goal is just bring the dough together into a rough ball.
Pat the ball of dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick.
Using a small round cookie cutter, or drinking glass. cut the dough into scones.
Transfer the scones to a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash. Be careful not to let the egg drip down the sides of the scones, drips will prevent the scones from rising properly. The egg wash will promote browning and add a bit of shine to the tops of the scones. There is some interesting science behind this, it's all about fats and proteins reacting to heat. To control shine vs. browning on your pastries, check out this handy chart.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400F.
While the scones are in the oven, make your glaze. In a small bowl, mix together the icing sugar and Grand Marnier to form a runny paste, the consistency of heavy cream.
Let the scones cool before glazing. You can either brush the tops of the scones with the glaze or drizzle them with the glaze using a spoon.
Ever wonder what's the difference between a biscuit and a scone? Me too, after a bit of research I've concluded it's a matter of opinion. Read more here.
Serve the scones with your choice of jam, sweet butter, or honey.