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Friday, December 4, 2009

Cranberry Scones- Windsor Arms Recipe


I love scones. Truly, dearly, madly love scones, specially with Devonshire cream and raspberry jam. That my friends, is bliss on a plate. The best scones I have ever had were at the Windsor Arms hotel during high tea which I posted about previously. This weekend I had a craving for scones and happily, I found the recipe online when I tried googling it. Here is the recipe with some of my changes:


(Makes 16 to 20)

- 4 cups (1 L) flour, sifted three times with 2 tbsp (30 mL) baking powder

- ¼cup (60 mL) sugar

- ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

- ½cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

- 2 eggs, room temperature, beaten to blend

- 1 cup (250 mL) milk or buttermilk (or more as needed)

- A handful of cranberries/chocolate chips/anything else you want to add in (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450F (200C). Grease and flour baking sheets. Sift flour, sugar and salt into a deep bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add any extra mix-ins (chocolate chips/dried fruit etc). Blend in eggs and just enough milk or buttermilk to form soft but not sticky dough.

2. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Gently roll or pat dough to about ½-inch thickness, lightly flouring as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut out rounds using two-inch floured biscuit cutter. Set scones ½ inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Brush with cream. Bake until scones are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately with Devonshire cream, jam or marmalade.


Ok. I have to confess: I didn’t sift my flour three times. Yes, I am a bad food blogger. What can I say, I just don’t have that kind of time. I also ended up using my food processor to cut in the butter even though one of my friends claims that not using a pastry cutter to do this is sacrilege. This recipe makes quite a bit of scones so I ended up dumping the butter and flour mixture into one of my gigantic metallic bowls.


I added a lot more sugar than is called for in the original recipe as my dried cranberries were unsweetened. I just eyeballed the amount.


One this I always do is to make sure to beat eggs together before adding them to dry ingredients in recipes. For whatever reason this does make a difference, mostly because if you don’t beat them together beforehand the yolks and the whites do not incorporate evenly into the dough. I also added enough milk to get everything to come together and a bit more. I added a little extra on purpose so it was a bit sticky as I planned to roll them out. Whenever you roll anything out, cookies, scones etc they will always absorb some of the flour which you are using on your counter to keep them from sticking. If you leave the dough slightly on the sticky side you can make sure that they don’t pick up too much flour and dry out.


My trusty biscuit cutter; because after a while you get tired of using a glass to cut things out.



The dough was nice and soft and rolled out very smoothly. I ended up using my two biggest baking sheets and a pyrex pan to hold all of the scones.


Here they are baking away in the oven.


Once they came out of the oven I had to resist the urge to bite into them immediately since I needed to slather them with the two very necessary ingredients without which a scone is not complete.


I bought this jar of Devonshire cream at Whole Foods in Toronto and had been keeping it stashed in my fridge until the opportune moment. When I spied it in the fridge at the store I practically jumped up and down with glee. If you haven’t tasted this on a warm scone then you haven’t lived.


Bonne Maman Four Fruit jam is my favourite and I am forever scouring the grocery store shelves for it. They sell this brand in my supermarket but for some reason this particular flavour is rarely in stock. The cute little jar makes me feel like yuppie whenever I eat it.


These scones were so incredibly good. They were not too sweet and were fluffy, light and tender inside. Next time however, I am making them thicker. I rolled them out to 1/2 inch but had some at the end which were an inch thick and they had an even better texture.


Since the scones were a little too thin to cut in half I took two and made a Devonshire cream and jam sandwich to bring to work as a snack the next day. It definitely gave me something to look forward to during my day!

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