These scones are first cousins to a sour cream biscuit recipe I posted here, which were initially (several iterations back) inspired by Merrill’s recipe for Cream Biscuits from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. With only three tablespoons of brown sugar, these scones are not at all sweet. Add more, of course, if you like. If you have never tried Madeira and vanilla together, you are in for a real treat. Enjoy! ;o) —AntoniaJames
2 ounces dried apricots (about ¼ cup, packed)
¼ cup Madeira (I use Rainwater)
2 ½ teaspoon vanilla paste (divided: ½ tsp. for soaking the apricots, the rest for the scones)
Chop the apricots into small pieces. Pour the Madeira over them, along with ½ teaspoon of vanilla paste, and stir. Allow them to sit for at least three or four hours, stirring occasionally.
When you’re ready to make the scones, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Using a dessert spoon to press the apricots against the bowl, pour off the soaking liquid, saving it. Measure 2 teaspoons of it into the melted butter. Reserve one tablespoon and, in a large bowl, mix it well with the sour cream, heavy cream and the remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla paste.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients; add the apricots and toss to combine.
Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir to combine, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead three or four quarter-turns. Flour your hands well if the dough seems sticky.
Put the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape it into a 7” disk, then cut the disk into eight wedges. Pull them apart, leaving about an inch between each piece.
Brush with the Madeira and vanilla-scented melted butter.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are a nice golden brown. (If you like them lighter, check them at about 13 minutes.) After a minute or so, remove to a cooling rack
When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)