The recipe most often requested by Inn at Green River guests is my Cream Scones. Guests frequently comment that they don’t ordinarily like scones, but they find mine light and delicious. This recipe is not complicated, and most scones recipes I have checked are basically the same, but I have a few tips about ingredients and the handling of the dough that I want to share with you.
First, you must make them with heavy cream and real butter, otherwise they will not be light and fluffy. Don’t even bother trying this recipe if you plan to substitute milk for the cream or try other ways to make it “low fat” — you will not be happy with the results.
Also, as scones are a quick bread, i.e., no yeast and no rising time required, you must take care not to handle the dough too much, or you activate the gluten, and end up with a tough scone.
You should also keep the ingredients cold, working with cold, right-out-of-the-fridge butter, cream and eggs. You could even put your mixing bowl in the fridge beforehand.
Here is the Cream Scones recipe:
- 2 C. unbleached flour
- 1/4 C. sugar
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt, or none if using salted butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 C. heavy cream
I stir the dry ingredients together, then cut the butter into the flour mixture with an old fashioned pastry cutter, or even two knives, until the butter is dispersed throughout, but is still cold and solid, and shows lumps about the size of a pea. Then, after adding the beaten egg, vanilla and cream, I quickly use my hands to gently work the liquid into the flour and butter mixture, until it just holds together. I form three balls of dough, and pat each one out in a circle about 7″ or 8″ in diameter and about 3/8″ to 1/2″ thick. I don’t roll out the dough because that would again be working it too much. I just cut each circle into 8 wedges as if cutting a pie. I transfer the wedges to an un-greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with a bit of sanding sugar, and pop into a preheated, 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
If I don’t have a full house at the Inn, and don’t need 24 scones at breakfast that morning, I pop the cut circle of scone dough wedges, wrapped in the parchment paper I worked on, into the freezer on a cookie sheet, until they harden. Then I put them into a zip lock bag, and keep frozen until I need them. In the morning, I take out as many frozen scones as I need, and bake on an un-greased cookie sheet in a cooler oven for a longer time, ie. 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
You will see that although I make these scones so often I could do it in my sleep, I made a few mistakes while on camera, like measuring the 1 cup of heavy cream the recipe calls for, and adding it all at once, which I never do when making the scones ordinarily. In fact, I don’t measure the cream at all, just add a bit less than I think I need to the egg and vanilla, and after incorporating the liquid with my hands into the flour mixture, I add a bit more cream if needed. As I added it all at once, I ended up with a dough that was too wet, but that can be remedied by adding a bit more flour, which I did. I also forgot to mention the baking powder. This being on camera is tough work!