I hope everyone had a gentle “fall back” on the weekend. I, myself, fell into a Bloody Mary and sumptuous grilled cheese at the Napa Valley Grille. Followed by a nap. So my usual Sunday bake was not on.
Monday morning, though, was a different story: I’d made a mushroom pasta on Friday so had leftover crème fraiche; I also had leftover candied orange peel from last week’s chocolate orange soda bread. I don’t know what that says to you, but it says scones to me!
I’ve been making this recipe for so long I don’t remember its origins. All I can tell you is that it’s delicious and foolproof. And fun, if you get your hands in there. I read somewhere that Irish scones vary from the touch of the hand of the woman who made them. So if you cut in the butter with your fingertips, you’ll be part of a long tradition and you’ll impart your uniqueness to the dough. And you’ll have the tenderest scones ever.
Nothing wrong with that.
These come together fast and in one bowl. They’ll be ready pretty much when the tea is. Perfect for just about any morning, but especially great for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m calling ’em “Fall Back” scones, not only because that’s what we just did, but because they’re so easy, they’ll be your fall back breakfast in no time.
Fall Back Orange Cranberry Scones
2 c flour
1/3 c sugar
2 Tbs grated orange peel
1 Tbs baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ c (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch dice
½ c dried cranberries
¼ – ½ c diced candied orange peel
¼ cup sour cream (or crème fraiche)
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk together flour, sugar, orange peel, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add diced butter. Using fingertips or a wire pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cranberries and diced candied orange peel.
In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk together the sour cream (or crème fraiche), orange juice and egg. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients in the bowl. Pour in the wet ingredients, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until the dough just comes together and there’s no dry flour in the bowl.
Knead the dough gently in the bowl for a few turns to eliminate some of the stickiness. Then pat dough into an 8-inch circle on the prepared baking pan. Using a pizza cutter, cut the circle in half one way, then in the other direction. Then cut across in a diagonal to create 8 equal wedges. Use the edge of the cutter to scooch them apart a little bit. Sprinkle with a generous amount of turbinado.
Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving with lots of good butter and jam. (They are also fantastic on their own.) These keep in a Ziploc on the counter for a day or two, or in the freezer for about a month.