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Monday, October 13, 2014

Cherry Citrus Scones

Paddy and I spent a couple of weeks in Ireland in the beginning of September. It was a great vacation and so good to spend time with the family...most of which was spent in the kitchen at Paddy's house (built in 1650!!), keeping warm by the cooker (which still burns turf), drinking tea, and eating scones. Paddy's mom made a fresh batch of scones about every other day and the smell of them in the oven would wake me up in the morning. Is there a better way to start the day?? Needless to say, when I came home, I was missing her scones dearly and decided to bake a batch to keep on hand. Ina Garten's is one of the better scone recipes I've tried - they're extra light and fluffy (sometimes scones can be dense, dry, and hard). I've changed a few things and this is my version, which by the way, is half of her recipe. This makes about 8 to 10 2-inch round scones. These freeze really well and if you keep to the directions of only rolling them out to about 1/2-3/4 inches, you can pop them in the toaster to defrost and warm up!

2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 
2 tbsp sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp grated grapefruit zest (could sub orange or lemon but grapefruit is my favorite!)
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy cream (or milk if you don't have cream)
1 cup dried cherries (you could sub cranberries or any other dried berry)
1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp water or milk, for egg wash

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 2 cups of flour, 2 tbsp of sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. 
3. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. Combine the dried cranberries and 2 tbsp of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

4. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn't stick. Use a cookie cutter or a juice glass to make 2-3 inch rounds in the dough. Place the scones on a cookie sheet.

5. Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar (don't skip these last steps!), and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked.

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