Saturday, April 17, 2010


I spent about eighteen months in the late 1990s researching scone recipes. My approach to baking scones is practical rather than fussy, which means I don't use a glass or cookie cutter to shape the scones, and I don't form a circle either, because they're awkward to cut. The basic recipe can be enhanced by adding dried fruit, lemon or orange zest, or candied ginger—use your imagination. You can substitute milk for the cream, use a mixture of milk and cream, or in a pinch, use canned evaporated milk, as long as the quantity remains the same.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour with a pastry blender or fork. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
  3. If you wish to add raisins, or dried fruit, add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup now, and stir them in.
  4. In a small measuring cup combine the whipping cream (or a mixture of cream and milk), beaten egg and vanilla.
  5. Add combined liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir just until the mixture becomes a dough you can easily handle. You want to mix and handle the dough as little as possible since the more you handle it, the tougher the scones will be.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl; most of it should adhere into a single lump.
  7. Knead the dough gently on a lightly floured surface to mix in any odd crumbs or dry flour left in the bowl.
  8. Roll or pat out the dough into a rectangle that's about an inch to an inch and a half thick (depending on how many scones you wish to make).
  9. If you want to make the scones sparkle, lightly sprinkle a little granulated sugar over the rectangle. Cut the rectangle into six to twelve scones.
  10. Transfer the scones to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  11. Bake 375 F. for about 15 minutes, or until the scones are lightly browned.
These freeze well; I suggest removing them from the oven just as soon as they are cooked through though not quite done, cooling them, then freezing them.