{ made } cranberry scones

9:07 AM sians 0 Comments

"clotted cream & jam; 
would you like a cup of tea?
sweet, buttery scones"

*mimics the british accent*
"would you like a cup of tea with crumpets and scones?"

-- why, yes. thank you very much. 
preferably with clotted cream, the freshest jam and maybe softened butter on the side. 

but truth be told, i have never been to england...let alone, tasted the classic scones in the place where it is iconic accompaniment to the english tea tradition and it would be a shame to miss if i were ever in the region.

*scribbles into food bucket list*
*scones in england with a pot of english tea*

in the meantime, i'd just have to try making them, scones myself. in fact, i am in search for the perfect classic english scone recipe. to date, i have experimented with three recipes and nothing has even come close to the ones i had at ye olde smokehouse in cameron highlands, which boasts to bake one of the best scones in the country.  

what makes scones so distinct is its texture, which i find rather special. it's crumbly, almost like a dry pie crust with a biscuit-like texture but remains buttery in the most delicious way. it is the perfect base to slather clotted cream without guilt and the sweet fruity jam to compliment the mild sweetness of the scones. 

despite not having found that ye olde smokehouse magical recipe for scones, my third recipe trial awarded me with some pretty lovely ones to which i added some dried cranberries that i reconstituted in freshly squeezed orange juice as an addition that ol' beloved scone recipe. 

starting with the most basic ingredients of flour, baking powder, milk and butter, the execution of the whole baking process determines if these pastries would become a success stories of crumbly delicious scones or dreaded 'stones', which can somewhat be avoided with the [#protips] to bear mind ;)

o1. most importantly, it is vital to not overwork the dough. that usually is the reason behind stone hard scones.

o2.  cutting the butter into the flour needs to be done quickly and it helps when the flour and butter is cold when you start working with it.  use only tip of the fingers to rub the butter into flour (as so to avoid the butter from melting too quickly) until the flour + butter mixture creates into breadcrumb-like consistency.

o3. kick start the scones' rise with a hot baking tray

o4. buttermilk helps with the texture of the scones but if you can't always find buttermilk, it can be made by combining whole milk and lemon. 

you know the drill... the recipe can be found at the bottom of the entry.

{mise en place.}

{homemade buttermilk.}

{cranberries reconstituted.}

{cutting butter into flour}

{sugar + cranberries + milk.}

{doughing it out}




my mom and my niece is a huge fan of scones, and also the reason behind my making scones. so they would be my greatest critics, besides myself, of course. 

visually - could be a bit more golden. probably need to give it a couple minutes on the top shelf of the oven. 

i consider it a success especially when it doesn't turn out to be rock hard. ;) 

splitting it in half, my first bite was a a mild sweetness with the occasional burst of fruitiness chew from the cranberries. buttery, with an almost moist cake-like biscuit consistency, it wasn't quite as crumbly as i'd like. in fact, it didn't require any additional butter nor cream (which i didn't have in hand at that point anyway) but a generous spread of your favorite jam or marmalade would sweeten this tasting a whole lot more.

interestingly and it was slightly odd that my mom preferred the day old scones (we had some extras left) that were kept overnight because it was closer to the crumbly consistency with a drier disposition (in a good way). so, perhaps there is a choice to have it both ways - fresh from the oven or the morning after depending on your textural inclination ;)

a perfection as a quick breakfast/brunch treat to go with coffee and the tea, this tested recipe is worth giving it a shot to whip up a fresh pastry in no time at all with ingredients that you can pretty much find in your kitchen pantry almost at any time.

{recipe} classic scones with jam & clotted cream
adapted from bbc good food
serves 8 

ingredients |

  • 350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 tbs caster sugar
  • 175ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 85g of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 orange, juice squeezed
  • beaten egg with a splash of milk, to glaze 
  • jam and clotted cream, to serve

directions |
  • heat oven to 220C. 
  • put the whole milk into a small sauce pan and heat until warm but not hot. remove from heat, add the vanilla and lemon juice, then set aside for a moment to cool.
  • reconstitute the dried cranberries in the freshly squeeze orange juice in a bowl. 
  • tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. 
  • add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. stir in the sugar and add in the drained, dried cranberries.
  • put a baking sheet in the oven.
  • make a well in the the dry mix, then add the liquid and  and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife - it will seem pretty wet at first. 
  • scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it's a little smoother. pat into a round about 4 cm deep.
  • take a 5 cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour (i used a glass). plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. by this point you'll probably need to press what's left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four. 
  • brush the tops with the beaten egg-milk mixture, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray that was removed from the oven. 
  • bake for 10 minutes until risen and golden on the top. eat just warm or cold on the day of baking, generously topped with jam and clotted cream. if freezing, freeze once cool. defrost, then put in a low oven (about 160C) for a few minutes to refresh. 

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.