Vanilla Fig Scones

By • November 5, 2012 • 26 Comments

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Author Notes: I had this whole plan to make vanilla bean budinos (because the best vanilla, I think, tends to be vanilla in creamy format) with some sort of ginger-citrus curd, maybe like fruit on the bottom. But, then this weekend when I finally had time to futz in the kitchen, the only thing I wanted to make or eat was scones. Obscenely huge, craggy scones (I get as picky about my scone texture as I do about muffins), preferably with figs in them, and vanilla. So I made that instead, adapting Joanne Chang's fabulous recipe for scones. And they were delicious! As good as budinos? Who knows. But,they hit the spot.fiveandspice

Food52 Review: Delightful. These are rich without being heavy, crunchy, and with a delicate bite. The moist mission figs provide a nice contrast. A note for future bakers: my batch baked for exactly 30 minutes. Also, be sure to use cold ingredients when you make the dough -- it'll make a big difference. I had one of these for breakfast and froze the rest to enjoy another time!Carolyn Z

Makes 8 kind of ridiculously large scones

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chilled salted butter cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chilled crème fraîche
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  1. The day before (or several days before) making the scones, split open your vanilla bean. Scrape out the seeds and use your fingers to blend them into the sugar. Then, add the pod to the sugar, put it all into an airtight container, and let it hang out until you're ready to bake. Remove the pod before baking (you can add it to some other sugar though to make that sugar vanilla-y for future use).
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F. If your dried figs are quite plump, you can use them as they are. Otherwise, combine the chopped figs with the bourbon in a small bowl and allow the figs to rehydrate for 10 minutes, then drain. (You may want to do this even if your figs are plump. Who doesn't want their figs to be a bit bourbon-infused?)
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl. Working quickly, use your fingers (I prefer fingers because then I can get a better feel for how the dough is doing) or a pastry cutter to work in the butter until the dough resembles coarse meal or sand with a few larger pea-sized butter chunks still left as well.
  4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Whisk together the eggs, cream, and crème fraîche, and add this mixture along with the (drained) chopped figs to the well. Stir until everything is just combined. Then, use your hands to gather the whole mess together.
  5. Dump the dough onto the counter, and pull it all together into a rough ball, and pat it into a big circle about 3/4-1 inch thick. There may be stray bits of dry flour mixture left over that won't stick to the rest of the dough. Pat on what you easily can, otherwise just leave it, it's OK.
  6. Use a dough scraper to cut the circle into 8 huge wedges (or if you are capable of more moderation in your scones than I, you can divide it into more smaller wedges and adjust the baking time accordingly). Separate the scones from each other and transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet. (At this point you can freeze the scones instead of baking them, and once they're hard, store them in an airtight container in the freezer to be baked at a future point.)
  7. Lightly brush the scones with the milk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake the scones in the middle rack of the oven until they are golden brown and crisped on their craggy edges, 20-30 minutes. (It took only 20 minutes in my oven, but it seems to be running hot these days.)
  8. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool as much as desired. I think scones are the best served while still warm (but not hot) from the oven. But, they are also lovely at room temperature, and will keep for a day, especially if you gently warm them back up before serving.
Jump to Comments (26)

Comments (26) Questions (1)

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4 months ago Martha

Hello,
I made the recipe and tasted really good. I want to know if the recipe can be alternated in order to use fresh figs. I have a fig tree in my yard that produce a lot of it.
Thank toy in advance!

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7 months ago Leebot

These are so very tasty -- the bourbon really adds a great flavor. My husband-from-Ireland thinks so too!

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7 months ago Scribbles

I don't know how I missed this recipe! I love scones and figs and can hardly wait to try these - they sound delicious. Thanks!!

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8 months ago Patricia Hartmann

Eat a real scone in Scotland-they're supposed to be hard and hearty, not fluffy or light or crusty or crispy. Don't call it a scone if it ain't one.

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8 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Was this comment really necessary? Perhaps, just as there are a multitude of various types of cakes that are vastly different, there is also more than one kind of scone, and room in the world for all and people who love them.

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8 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It's too bad you couldn't have offered your opinion in an educational or, at least, kind way. Emily's vanilla-fig scones are absolutely delicious, one of my favorite recipes from this entire site. Just because you don't like the style doesn't mean the recipe isn't a good one. Frankly, hard anything doesn't sound real good.

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8 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Indeed, Abbie!

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8 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks ladies. :)

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over 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Emily, these are just so awesome. I love them! Great recipe that I make repeatedly!

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over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Aw, thank you so much Em. I'm so pleased that you've been loving them. I loooove them as a weekend treat. :)

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almost 2 years ago mommychef

maybe the best scones I have ever made (and I've made a few) light and ethereal...except I've eaten 3 so those words won't apply to me pretty soon!

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Wow, thanks!

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almost 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

made and really enjoyed these this past weekend! lighter than air!! only thing i'd do differently next time is add more figs. the bourbon is great!

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yay! I'm so glad you tried the scones and liked them. You can definitely add more figs, if you like! I tend to like scones with dried fruit to be light on the fruit, and scones with fresh fruit to be over-the-top with the fruit (even though that can make them a bit soggy!).

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Fig + bourbon + scone?? Gosh, these sound like heaven.

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks Jenny!!! It's one of my dream combos. :)

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almost 2 years ago EmilyC

I adore scones, and this flavor combination sounds particularly delicious!

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks Em!

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almost 2 years ago Midge

Ooh love the Bourbon infusion option, especially with the vanilla. I'm making these next time I get a scone-hankering!

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks so much! And, those scone-hankerings must not be ignored.

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almost 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

They sound ridiculously delicious!

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks MrsL. I'd say you're the most qualified judge of scone character out there!

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almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have never made a scone. Perhaps it is time I start? I could make ad freeze, and bake after the 1/2 in San Antonio Sunday! (you gotta come down here for one of these some time)

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

You've never made a scone????!!! You, young lady, must do something about this! Scones, I feel, are butter and flour's highest calling, especially when you throw on just a touch of clotted/whipped cream and jam. Or not. They don't even need it. Good luck Sunday! I do wish I could be there, but we're traveling in kind of the opposite direction (West Coast bound) for some work, so it wouldn't have worked out. This spring though... (I truly need some goal to force me to kick my butt into gear and get back into shape.)

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almost 2 years ago Oui, Chef

There is no such thing as a ridiculously large scone, especially when they taste as good as these!

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yeah, I agree! I'm a big scone fiend! :)