Cream scones are a beautiful thing. They are pillowy and light with golden tops and lightly toasted bottoms. They require no egg, no butter… nothing but flour, some baking powder, a bit of salt and sugar, and cream that has been whipped just until it begins to form soft peaks. And I didn’t even whip it that far, because I’m impatient. With a little buckwheat, they have more toasty flavor than a typical English scone, but only just. They’re gentle.
The ratios for this recipe are based off a 2007 cream scone recipe from Molly Wizenberg’s blog. I was almost out of all purpose flour, so halved the recipe and filled out the required flour with buckwheat flour. I also adjusted the amount of sugar. I am so, so glad that I was ill prepared. I probably should not read life lessons into my baking, but sometimes it’s hard not to want to. This yields ten or eleven smallish scones if you’re using a 2- to 2.5-inch diameter biscuit cutter. They are best just warm. —Katie Okamoto
raisins (sliced in half if you want) or dried currants
1 & 1/4 cups
all purpose flour
granulated sugar (scant)
1 & 1/4 cups
chilled heavy cream, plus extra for glazing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the raisins or currants, and the almonds if using.
Pour cream into a chilled bowl and beat with an electric egg beater (or by hand, as I tried to do at first before going numb) until the cream is JUST starting to form soft peaks, or just before, when the cream has thickened and become light, dripping off the beater at a slower pace than before, about 1 drip per second.
In two batches, very gently fold the cream into the dry ingredients. You're looking to moisten everything but not mix thoroughly. The dough you're going for is wet and shaggy.
Put down a sheet of wax paper (optional, but will make clean-up easier) and flour your surface. Turn the dough onto it, pressing dough gently together into a ball-like shape. You're not kneading it here, just working the shaggy dough together into a single mass. LIghtly flour the top of the dough and your hands to keep it from sticking too much, and gently press the ball into a rough circle about 1" thick.
Use a 2.5" biscuit cutter to cut out the scones reworking the dough very minimally to use up scraps. Place the scones gently on the baking sheet, at least 1.5" apart, and brush generously with cream using a pastry brush.
Bake for 25-32 minutes. This is a wide range, but I found that at 25 minutes the scones were setting but hadn't taken any color. I would check them at 20 or 25 minutes and set your timer after that for 4 minute increments. The scones will be done when they are slightly golden on top and at the edges. Don't forget to flip your baking sheet halfway through the baking time for even results.