I was planning on making my Orange-Infused American Scones with Currents this morning, but my orange sugar had disappeared. I suspect Jan, my wife, used it for something she had baked or worse decided to tidy up my kitchen, so it could be anywhere.
Real English scones have no sugar in them. American scones have sugar. I will let you guess what makes these Canadian scones.
After Breakfast Note: I used one tablespoon of sweetener and it was a bit washed out. I have changed it to two tablespoons. Jan also made the suggestion that a way of intensifying the flavor was to soak the currents in the sweetener overnight.
Karl’s Canadian Scones with Currents
¼ cup currents
2 Tbs. maple syrup
2 cups cake flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
6 Tbs. butter, cold
1 egg, lightly beaten
milk, added to the egg to make ¾ cup
2 Tbs. cream
1. The night before making the scones, soak the currents in the maple sugar over night in a small jar or lidded cup.
Tip: This recipe works best if you do everything up to step X the night before. Spending the night in a refrigerator allows the flour and butter to chill completely and gives you a much flakier and tender scone.
2. Measure the flour, baking powder and salt in a flour sifter. Sift the dry ingredients several times to mix them thoroughly.
Tip: The trick to any quick bread is to not overwork your dough. By completely mixing the dry ingredients you do not have to worry about pocket of baking power later when you add the wet ingredients.
3. Take the butter out of the refrigerator and slice the butter into thin pats and add it to the flour mixture.
Tip: Many recipes call for you to bring the ingredients to room temperature before mixing. Scones are just the opposite. You want each ingredient to be as cold as possible while you are mixing. This includes your hands. If you have warm hands, dip them in ice water before handling your dough.
4. Cut the butter into small pieces with a pastry cutter. Rock the cutter into the flour and butter pats and use a knife to clean the cutter between cuts.
Tip: If you do not have a pastry cutter I really recommend that you get one. They are not expensive and they make the task of cutting the butter quick and easy. You may use a fork or squeeze the butter with your fingers until it resembles crumbs, but this is slow and increases the chance of melting the butter into the flour. For good flaky scones, this is a bad thing.
5. Place the flour mixture in a coverable bowl or plastic bag and put it in the freezer for at least an hour or the refrigerator overnight.
6. Pre-heat your oven to 400º F.
7. Return the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and stir in the currents.
8. Put the egg into a measuring cup and beat it lightly.
9. Add enough milk to make ¾ of a cup of liquid and beat lightly to mix completely.
Tip: Many recipes call for buttermilk, whole milk or cream, but I use 1% lactose free for Eilene. Whatever you use, make sure that it is cold.
10. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and gently fold the dough with a spatula.
Tip: You do not want to overwork the dough. The more you work it, the more gluten is created. This is a good thing for breads, but a bad thing for scones and biscuits.
11. When there is almost no dry flour showing, stop and let the dough rest for 5+ minutes in the refrigerator.
12. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Flour your hands and pat the dough into a ½ inch thick square.
13. Letter-fold the dough in thirds and pat the dough down.
Tip: Take the edge of the dough square that is away from you and fold about a third of the sheet to the middle. Take the edge that is closest to you and fold it to the middle over the other two folds.
14. You will now have a rectangle of dough. Letter-fold the long sides to the middle and then pat in down.
15. Flour your hands again and pat the dough into a ½ inch thick square.
Tip: How thin you pat your dough depends on how high you like your scones. If you prefer you may pat your square as thick as 1½ inches for a really tall, fluffy scone.
16. I use a bread scrapper to cut the dough into 9 or 12 portions.
Tip: If you really like round scones, you may use a cutter to make 2 to 2½ inch rounds. However, if you do this, you will have to gather up the scraps, reform them into a sheet and cut again. These second cuts will be a little tougher than the first cuts and you will always end up with one ugly, last-bits scone.
17. Put the scones on a Pam-ed baking sheet and brush the tops with the cream.
18. Bake for 13 – 14 minutes, until well risen and golden.
19. Serve immediately, while still warm from the oven.