Saturday 30 March 2013

Lemon Cranberry Biscuity Scones?

I'm not really sure what these should be called - scone, biscuit?  Maybe it's just a fail, but how can a fail be so tasty?  I have been baking for enough years that I feel like I should know what I'm doing.  I often create my own recipes from scratch based on knowledge and previous experiences.  When I decided this morning to make scones, having only made them once before, I followed my usual process - check out a bunch of recipes on-line and select different parts that I like from each to create my own.  I suppose this was due to my inexperience with scones.

Although the result is moist, fluffy and awesomely delicious, I can't really call it a scone.  The texture just isn't right. Scones, from what I understand, should be more like a shortbread.  The dough is meant to be drier, something you can roll; this dough is more of a dry "batter".  I've seen references that scones are a form of quick bread, although I'm not sure that's the traditional definition.  This is definitely quick bread-ish.

 2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup butter, cubed and chilled
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Heavy cream

Mix first 6 ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Stir in the cranberries*.  Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until small pebbles of butter are formed.

Beat the egg, then mix together all of the remaining liquid ingredients.  Pour into the dry, and stir together only enough to mix.  It's drier than a normal batter, so at this point, I actually put the dough on the counter, flattened it with my hand, and punched out rounds with a cookie cutter.  In hindsight, I wonder if I could have scooped up chunks and formed it into the shape I wanted (like making burger patties!).

 Brush with a bit of heavy cream, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

* Note: I don't know if this is really necessary for scones, but when making raisin bread, coating the raisins with the dry ingredients help them to stay put during the baking rather than separate from the batter. 

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