Buttermilk Scones

I received a wonderful new baking book, The Essential Baker by Carole Bloom, from our friends Ryan and Carolina. This scone recipe comes from my new book. Of course, as usual, I had to tweak it a smidgen to my liking. The original recipe called for chopped dried figs, but I didn’t have any, so I used a combination of dried cherries and golden raisins. I also added a handful of toasted slivered almonds and topped them with a few extra slivers. I’m looking forward to trying many more recipes from this book. Thanks Ryan & Carolina!!!

As with most scones, they are a bit dry, but quite lovely served warm with a smear of butter and a drizzle of honey. Or you could do like the English and slather them with clotted cream, which sounds horribly unappetizing, but is very tasty. The best part about this recipe, is since you use your food processor, it takes all of about 10 minutes to prepare them, then another 15 or so to bake. Perfect for a lazy Sunday morning!

Buttermilk Scone Recipe

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 oz (3 tbsp) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 c finely chopped dried fruit (figs, raisins, cherries, etc)
1/2 c almonds, slivered and toasted
1/2 c buttermilk
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extractb
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp milk or cream
2 tbsp sugar (preferable sugar in the raw or turbinado)
1 tbsp slivered almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pulse a few times to blend. Add the pieces of butter to the flour mixture, and pulse until the butter is cut into very tiny pieces, about 30 seconds. The texture should be sandy with very tiny lumps throughout.

2. Add the dried fruit and almonds and pulse a few times to mix. Using a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, vanilla and almond extracts together in a liquid measuring cup. With the food processor running, pour this mixture through the feed tube and process until the dough wraps itself around the blade, about 30 seconds.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust your hands with flour and shape the dough into an 8 inch round, around 1/2 inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut the circle into quarters, then cut each quarter in half, forming 8 triangular scones. Transfer scones to a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch of space between them so they have room to expand as they bake. Brush any excess flour off of the scones.

4. Brush the tops of each scone with cream, taking care that it doesn’t run down the sides and under the scones. If this does, wipe it up because it can cause the bottom of the scones to burn. Lightly sprinkle the top of each scone with sugar and additional almonds if desired.

5. Bake scones for 15-18 minutes until they are lightly golden. Serve warm.

Makes 8 scones