When my brother-in-law sent me a newspaper clipping with a recipe for cranberry-orange scones I wasn’t all that interested. The only scones I’d ever tasted were from a local chain store bookseller with a coffee shop set up in the corner. I was not impressed. The label said raspberry scone but any hint of juicy berry was lost in a dry, flavorless crumb. The newspaper clipping sang the praises of scones, though, so the dried cranberries and orange zest and buttermilk were all duly purchased for the next day’s market bake. To my complete surprise they were a hit. Next week we made more. They all sold. More the next week. There began to be some positive feedback so I soon found myself scouting recipes for variations. We played with fresh fruits, dried fruits, frozen fruits, nuts, spices, extracts. Eventually we settled on three basic types of scone dough: buttermilk, yogurt, and cream. Of all the varieties we’ve made over the years, these raspberry scones made with yogurt are the most popular and are always in the case.
It’s easy to swap out the raspberries for blueberries, blackberries, or a mix of any similar kind of berry. Frozen berries are easiest to use. If you work quickly and carefully you can mix them into the dough without breaking them up too much, by adding the frozen berries to the dry ingredients before introducing the yogurt and eggs. Try adding a bit of lemon or orange extract and some zest, or flavored yogurt to add another level of taste, or white chocolate chunks or chips. We usually drizzle plain powdered sugar icing over them after baking. Sometimes there’s leftover cream cheese frosting around so we thin it with a little milk and drizzle that instead for a especially rich taste.
These can be frozen ready to bake, or fully baked. Warm them briefly in a microwave and drizzle on the icing before serving with coffee or tea.
Joan, 2 January 2016
RASPBERRY YOGURT SCONES
Makes 8 scones
2 cups+ 2 Tablespoons (300 grams) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (50 grams) sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (113 grams) cold butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup (84 grams) frozen raspberries
2/3 cup (150 grams) plain, full-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Beat the eggs into the yogurt and set aside. If you’d like to add any extract do it now.
Blend all of the dry ingredients. Cut in the cold butter using a food processor or your fingers. Stir in the berries, and citrus zest if you’re adding that. Working quickly, add the yogurt/egg mixture and stir until all the flour is incorporated. Try not to smash too many berries, but some will perish and that’s okay. If it seems too dry and will not come together add a few drops of milk. You want it to barely hold together.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Dividing the dough into two pieces, shape each half into a circle about 6″ across and ¾-1″ thick. Cut each circle into quarters and pull the pieces apart, leaving 1-2″ space between them. (You can freeze the scones at this point. When you’re ready to bake put them in a preheated oven while they’re still frozen and bake as usual.)
Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, till golden brown. Cool completely and drizzle with powdered sugar glaze.