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Cream Scones

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Serves 8

  • To learn more, read:
    How to Make Cream Scones
  • by Rose Levy Beranbaum from Fine Cooking
    Issue 122

While most scones are made with cream, the secret to this version is whipping the cream to soft peaks before folding it with the dry ingredients. The air trapped in the cream helps the scones rise, making them extra soft and light. Brushing the scones with a little extra cream and sprinkling them with sugar adds crunch and makes the tops sparkle a bit. If you prefer to skip that step, you’ll get more rustic-looking but equally tasty scones.

  • 1 cup plus 2 tsp. chilled heavy cream
  • 10-5/8 oz. (2-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder (preferably aluminum-free)
  • 3/8 tsp. fine sea salt or table salt
  • 5 oz. (10 Tbs.) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbs. turbinado sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw) or granulated sugar

Chill a medium metal mixing bowl and the beaters of an electric hand mixer (or the bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer) in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

Beat 1 cup of the cream in the chilled bowl on medium-high speed just until soft peaks form, 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes; refrigerate while you mix the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and toss with your fingers to coat. Press the butter between your fingers to form very thin flakes, tossing them back in the flour mixture between passes until all of the butter is pressed into dime-size flakes.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the whipped cream and honey. Use a silicone spatula to fold the ingredients together until incorporated.

Lightly knead the dough in the bowl just until it holds together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Gently knead it a few more times, then transfer it to a 9-inch cake pan lined with plastic wrap and pat it into a flat disk (or shape it by hand on a cutting board into a 9 x 3/4-inch disk). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

If the dough was shaped in a cake pan, invert it onto a cutting board. Remove the plastic.

With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 even wedges. Arrange the wedges 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Brush the scones with the remaining 2 tsp. cream and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

Bake the scones until lightly browned on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

Spread an unscented, lint-free linen or cotton towel on a large wire rack and put the baked scones on top. Fold the towel over loosely and allow the scones to cool until warm or at room temperature before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

The scones can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2 days or frozen for 3 months. Reheat room-temperature scones in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. Reheat frozen scones in a 300°F oven for 20 minutes. The scones are ready to serve when the outside is crunchy and a wire cake tester inserted in the center feels warm.

Variations

To make flavored scones, mix any of the following in with the dry ingredients.
• Currant scones: Add 1/2 cup dried currants.
• Cranberry-orange scones: Add 3/4 cup dried cranberries and 1 Tbs. finely grated orange zest.
• Lemon-poppy scones: Add 1-1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds and 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest.
• Ginger scones: Add 1 tsp. powdered ginger, 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest, and 2/3 cup candied ginger cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch pieces.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 410; Fat (g): 26; Fat Calories (kcal): 230; Saturated Fat (g): 16; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 39; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 280; Cholesterol (mg): 80; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

These were very tasty! Mine did not rise up much but the flavour was fantastic so I will definitely do this recipe again. Next time I am going to add some currants.

The scones are amazing, soft flaky and buttery, and they keep for several days in an airtight contained. I added 3/4 cup cinnamon chips and they were fantastic. Instead of wrapping a towel at the end which seems to absorb a lot of the moisture, I placed a towel on the counter, set a wire rack on top of the towel and then placed the scones on the wire rack, wrapping the towel from underneath and over the scones.

Totally delicious.

Unbelievably good. I have made the lemon poppyseed and the cranberry orange on several occations. I always get rave reviews. I tried something new that was not suggested and they were goood too. I made banana walnut. I wonder how Rose would perfect them (they were good, but not as good as the cranberry or poppyseed ones) Thank you for an out of this world scone.

Perfect scones! I've tried dozens of scone recipes, but was still in search of the perfect cream scone. It's so hard to find a scone recipe without eggs and I loved the inclusion of honey in this one. I can't believe it took me so long to find this recipe. These are delicious. Yes, they are great with candied ginger or currants, but they're so delicious plain. My search is over.

Easy to follow recipe with delicious results. I substituted lemon rind instead of orange with dried cranberries and they were a big hit, I made a second batch using dried cherries, also delicious. They also reheated beautifully

Wow. I don't like scones, they always seem bitter. But if Rose L B has a recipe, it is worth a try. You know she has tested it to the last detail. These are delicious. I forgot the 3 T so sugar and they were still great. Ate one and the rest are in the freezer because otherwise they would all be gone. Ginger and lemon are great complements and good additions.

These were excellent. Took me a little longer to get up to soft peaks on whipping the cream, and there was a touch of flour that just wouldn't absorb, but this is now my goto recipe for scones. I've made too many rock-like non-scone things in the past to not use this one again.

I adore these scones! My standard has always been the double ginger scones from FC, but these have surpassed those! No eggs was a first for me - but these are light and delicious - I did add crystallized ginger and next time may add dry fruit (King Arthur "jammies" are divine). But these are now my GO TO scone - they freeze very well, happily.

This recipe makes the best scones I've ever eaten. Flattening the butter and whipping the cream is genius. The scones were light, flaky, tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. You can read my full review at Taking On Magazines: http://bit.ly/11aK6Cj

These scones are divine. They remind me of shortbread, but lighter and fluffier. They are more "time consuming" than other recipes I have, but worth every minute of prep for their amazing texture and flavor. I wish I could report how they reheated, but didn't have any to reheat as the family devoured them the morning I made them. :-)

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