The other day I was all prepared to make these scones. I’d heard great things about them from people who made them and they were at the top of my list of things to cook. I had been trying to make these scones for many years but was either short an ingredient or two or some other recipe came along that piqued my interest. So the other day before I started to make these I decided to do a little research and check to see if anyone else had made them and what were the results. As much as I love baking I do not like any baked item that turns out too sweet. The source of the original recipe is one that I trust but before I got elbow deep in butter and flour and cream I wanted to see if there were any adjustments that others had made to improve upon the recipe.
One of my go-to sources for trusted advice in all things cooking is this gal. I have been a fan of her blog for many years. Her writing is honest,her pictures are gorgeous and I love the advice she shares from recipes she has made. When I am searching through my many cookbooks and lists and recipes of things to make I will find that she has often blogged about some of the same recipes. I had held onto my recipe for rhubarb crumb cake for many years before I made it. I was delighted when I came across the recipe and beautiful pictures of the rhubarb crumb cake on her blog. Basically I trust her opinion. So when I saw the post that referenced the original scones along with the reasons why she was not happy with them-I believed her and decided to scrap my plans to make them and make her version instead.
Smitten Kitchen didn’t say anything bad about the recipe or the author (she happens to be a huge fan of Ina’s as I am) she simply said the scones were a bit heavy. Which for me is a deal breaker with scones. I like my scones to be flaky and light. Had I heard this from anyone else I didn’t trust as much I would have waved it off as their baking inexperience and made the scones anyway. But smitten I trust. I was jumping for joy when I read her latest post for carnitas (which I will be making very soon).
I immediately liked her recipe, for one thing it has fewer ingredients and didn’t call for as much butter and cream as the original.The recipe is for plain scones-I added the orange zest and a handful of crystalized ginger because that’s what I wanted. The scones came out flaky,light and most important not too sweet. Even when I added a sugary orange glaze the balance was just right.They even held up the next day without becoming dry.
I’m sure this very easy basic scone recipe will take well to anything else I may decide to add in them because I will be making them again and again.
Recipe: orange scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled,unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon orange zest(zest from 1 orange)
1 cup heavy cream
4 teaspoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
Directions for scones:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
Place flour,baking powder,sugar and salt in large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
Using 2 knives or a pastry cutter, cut in butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps .
Stir in orange zest.
Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form-no more than 30 seconds.
Pour dough and flour pieces remaining onto clean countertop and knead by hand just until it comes together.
Gently press the dough into an 8-inch circle about 3/4 of an inch thick.
Using a knife or bench scraper cut dough into 8 wedges.
Place the wedges on a ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown 12-15 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack and drizzle with orange glaze.
Combine fresh orange juice with confectioners sugar. Drizzle over scones when completely cooled on wire rack.