Wednesday, January 2, 2013

apricot, cranberry, almond scones with lemon glaze

scones....i love them....i am not sure tilly ever had a scone .....they were not in our family food repertoire....i don't think i ever tried one until i tasted one of karen's at breakfast one day...(karen is irish and scones are definitely in her repertoire) ..i traveled to Ireland with karen maybe 15 years ago and ordered scones they do scones!!!!!   have you ever had a scone at one of the large national coffee shop chains in the US?  they are disappointing  to say the least....they aren't buttery or rich and they are tooooo sweet...i stopped bothering.  (they do have wonderful scones at balthazar in new york city!!! ) ina garten makes lovely scones but somehow they did not say EASY to me...until one day i saw tyler florence make these  ......... seriously i did not believe my could they be that easy...i had envisioned rolling and cutting dough with biscuit cutters and lots of other complicated steps....these are ridiculously easy.....the basic recipe is tyler florence's that i have made countless times with fresh blueberries and they are wonderful...  combing through my new cookbook stack (thanks santa), i got some inspiration from  deb perelman's smitten kitchen cook book ....she specifically mentions experimenting with i took a tried and true recipe and messed with it....i used what i had...these were awesome!
i ate one before i took this picture!
recipe after the jump

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cold, cut up into chunks
1 cup of heavy cream (plus an additional tablespoon for the brushing the scones)
1/2 cup of diced dried apricots
1/2 cup of toasted chopped slivered almonds (reserve half for topping)
1/4 cup of chopped fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 teaspoons of decorative sugar crystals for sprinkling

for the glaze
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter

preheat oven to 400 degrees. sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt into a medium size bowl...mix it with a whisk.  dump in the diced cold butter and bring it together with a pastry blender ....takes about 2 minutes...should look like coarse crumbs. make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream...fold it together with a wooden spoon until just incorporated...then dump in the cranberries and orange zest and apricots....and half of the nuts into the bowl...incorporate them with the wooden spoon.....dump the dough blob onto a floured piece of parchment and shape into a 12 inch by 3 inch by 1 1/4 inch rectangle.  i used my hands and a floured rolling pin and a ruler as a guide.....  then easy peasy cut the rectangle in half creating two six inch by three inch rectangles and then cut those each in half.  you are left with four squares....cut each square diagonally to create 8 triangular scones.  place them on a parchment lined sheet pan.  brush each scone with heavy cream using a pastry brush..then sprinkle with the rest of the chopped nuts and decorative sugar.  bake in 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

have all of your ingredients ready to go
rolling and cutting up the scones

after the heavy cream wash and additions of nuts and sugar

cooling yes i ate one warm ...... taste tested really
originally i thought i would not add the glaze but the warm scone i ate was not quite sweet while the rest cooled i made the lemon glaze...i halved tyler's glaze recipe as i only wanted a drizzle not a full drench of glaze.
to make the glaze use a small microwave safe bowl.  add the sifted confectioners sugar and lemon juice and whisk together until the sugar dissolves add the lemon zest and mix again...then add the butter and then microwave for 30 seconds on high...take it out and whisk it.  let it cool for a couple of minutes...when the scones are cool keep them on the rack and put a piece of parchment paper underneath it to catch the drips...use a teaspoon and delicately pour a drizzle over each scone...i only wanted a little ...i threw out the excess glaze.  these were really delicious...i will make them again!!!!
i want to eat them all

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