I have made a lot of lousy baking powder biscuits in my day, most of them trying vainly to approximate the best thing KFC makes — their fluffy, moist biscuits. It occurred to me today to look up a recipe for Cream Scones (to-die-for delicious-ness served in little country inns in the UK, eaten with tea, jam and clotted cream) to use for Strawberry Shortcake. Well, let me tell you, they are THE BOMB. I will never make anything else to use for Strawberry Shortcake, as these turned out so tender, so sweet and just perfection to soak up the strawberry juice.
Oh, and you can use sweetened chevre as a substitute for the clotted cream you might serve with these, straight out of the oven and piping hot. Don’t forget the strawberry jam!
Cream Scone Recipe:
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (75 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream
Cream or Milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, two knives, or with your fingertips. (The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.) In a small measuring cup whisk together the milk or cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. You can either add a handful of dried currants at this point, or if using for shortcake, skip the currants. Do not over-mix.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat into a 7 inch (18 cm) round. Dough will be very soft and quite sticky. Then, using a lightly floured 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing a few inches apart. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream. (This helps to brown the tops of the scones during baking.)
Bake for about 15 – 17 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with Devon cream, softly whipped cream or sweetened chevre and your favorite jam. These scones are best the day they are made but can be covered and stored for a few days. They also freeze very well.
UPDATE: If you are lucky enough to have fresh blueberries, try rolling out the dough to half the usual thickness, packing in wall-to-wall blueberries on one half and then folding the dough over on itself. A blueberry sandwich. Then cut the dough into rectangles, then triangles. Bake for 12 – 15 min, depending on size of your triangles. If you like, you can also make an easy lemon drizzle from 1/4 cup (one lemon’s worth ) juice and zest + 2 cups powdered sugar + 3 Tbsp soft butter + 3 Tbsp milk. drizzle over top when scones have cooled from baking. NUMS!
Makes about 10 – 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) round scones.
Thanks to the Joy of Baking for this lovely recipe!