One of my husband’s favourite baked treats is a scone¹. He especially loves when I make raisin scones, but I’m just as happy to whip up a batch of blueberry scones or the more classic, currant scones. I start with a cream scone base and stir in a handful of whatever add-ins I have on hand.
Although people may use the words “scone” and “biscuit” interchangeably because the two share some common ingredients (flour, fat and dairy), they are not the same thing. A scone is similar to a quick bread and is not as flaky as a biscuit. Scones tend to be more cakey and crumbly, and go well with a hot beverage, clotted cream, jam or a dab of butter. They are generally served with breakfast, brunch or afternoon tea.
Here is a quick and simple recipe for apricot ginger scones that are light and buttery – the perfect afternoon treat to accompany a cup of tea.
- ¾ cup + 1.5 Tbs cold heavy cream, divided
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour + more for work surface
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed or shredded²
- ½ cup dried apricots, diced
- ½ cup candied ginger, diced
- 1 Tbs sanding sugar (Turbinado sugar), optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the middle of the oven.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. It is okay to have a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining.
- Stir in the apricots and candied ginger.
- Whisk together the ¾ cup of cream and egg.
- Stir in the egg and cream mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overwork the dough; it should be somewhat crumbly.
- Transfer dough onto lightly floured work surface. Gently pat the dough into a circle.
- Cut the dough into 6 wedges using a butter knife or dough scraper.
- Transfer the wedges to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Brush the tops with the reserved cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
- Bake until the tops of the scones are golden, approximately 15-18 minutes.
If you plan to freeze unbaked scones, you’ll want to stop at step #9 in the instructions. Freeze them in a single layer before transferring them to a freezer bag. They can keep for up to 2 months in the freezer. They can be baked from frozen – brush the tops of the frozen scones with cream, sprinkle with sugar, and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.
¹ Can be pronounced “sk-awn” (Scottish) or “sk-own” (English)
² Freezing butter before shredding will make the process easier