Serves: Makes 8 scones
- 2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (2 ounces) sugar
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 cup (8 ounces) chilled heavy whipping cream
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon sugar, or for more crunch and a touch of brown sugar flavor, 2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar
Procedures:Classic teatime accompaniments, these tender scones are flaky and just slightly sweet, which makes them an ideal starting point for the luscious Classic Strawberry Shortcake. Feeling adventurous? You can adapt these scones to your taste by adding flavorings to the dough, such as citrus zest, spices, chopped and toasted nuts, flavoring extracts or oils, and dried fruit (you'll find a few variations at the end of the recipe to get you started). Make sure your butter and cream are quite cold and handle the dough just enough to bring it together and pat it into shape. The food processor method used below (and in all the scone recipes in this chapter) ensures that your scones will be flaky and tender. If you don't have a food processor, you can make the scones by hand following the directions at the beginning of the chapter.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and position an oven rack in the center. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a thin silicone mat. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of the food processor and process for 10 seconds to blend well. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse 5 times at 1-second intervals, or until the butter is cut into medium pieces. Add the cream and pulse another 20 times, or until the dough holds together in small, thick clumps. Use a spatula to scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently squeeze the clumps together until they form a cohesive dough.
Pat the dough into a circle 7 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. Use a chef's
knife to cut the dough into 8 equal wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet,
spacing them about 2 inches apart.
Brush the tops with a thin coating of the lightly beaten egg (you will not use all the egg). Sprinkle evenly with the sugar. Bake the scones for 14 to 16 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature.
Storing: Once baked, serve the scones within 2 hours, when they are at their freshest and most appealing. Keep them uncovered at room temperature until serving time.