Orange you happy it’s another breakfast post?
I know a seven-year old who pleads for “3 mini scones with vanilla icing” every time she goes to Target. Not my seven-year old, of course – he just wants the free cookie from the bakery.
To be fair, this particular seven-year old is light years ahead of myself at that age. I didn’t like scones until a few years ago. All of the scones I had encountered prior to then were dense, heavy and dry. But then – one magical day – I decided to make them myself, in my own kitchen, from scratch, and my eyes were opened to the the potential hidden beneath all of those crumbly sitting-out-too-long scones I had previously encountered. Fresh scones are fluffy, moist and delicate. I prefer ones that are not too sweet and are made with heavy cream, which makes them a bit of a treat as opposed to something you could feel good about eating on a regular basis.
Another food I previously disliked and only recently realized the awesomeness of: oranges. Don’t ask me why, but I never cared for them until sometime in the past year.
You see where this is going, yes? Orange creamsicle scones is where this is going. Flavored with sugary orange zest and pieces of supremed orange, they will forever change how you think of scones.
Scones are one of the easiest pastries you could possibly make, I promise. The trick, as with all pastries, is to work the dough as little as possible and keep your ingredients (especially your butter) cold. Mix everything up in one bowl, dump onto a floured surface, then shape and cut the dough.
It’s important to chill scones well before baking them, because the butter and cream can quickly spread and the scones will become a little unsightly. They would still taste fine, don’t get me wrong, but it really is best to chill them first. Once they’re cut and placed on a baking sheet, stick them in the freezer for 30 minutes or so while the oven preheats.
If I show you something, will you promise not to judge me?
*hangs head in shame* I don’t know how it happened. Obviously, I have a problem. There is undoubtedly too much in my freezer… and this picture doesn’t even show all of the stuff I had to take out and set on my counter in order for the scones to fit in there! I vow not to say, “I don’t know what to make for dinner, we don’t have anything at home” for the next 9 months.
Have you ever supremed an orange? It too is very simple. Slice the top and bottom of an orange so that the flesh is exposed and it stands flat on a cutting board, and following the curve of the fruit, use a knife to cut the peel off. Then make a cut on either side of the membrane that divides each segment. The benefits of taking the time to supreme an orange are well worth it – you’re left with no bitter pith, no tough membranes, just little juicy capsules of tangy citrus.
Have I convinced you yet that these scones are worth making? Good. I’m going to sign off now, because I need to google “how to remove freezer burn from steak I bought 6 months ago and just rediscovered.”
Orange Creamsicle Scones
Basic scone recipe (minus the orange creamsicle) adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
- Two oranges
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 cup heavy cream
Slice the top and bottom of the oranges so that the flesh is exposed and they stand flat on a cutting board, and following the curve of the fruit, use a knife to cut the peel off. Make a cut on either side of the membrane that divides each segment and remove the fruit from the membrane. Roughly chop the orange segments into 1/2 inch pieces.
In large bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of the orange-sugar, the flour, the baking powder and the salt together. Use a pastry cutter (or fork and knife) to cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal with some moderately large chunks of butter. Add cream and orange pieces, fold and gently stir until dough starts to come together.
Dump dough onto floured surface, and use hands to shape dough into a rough ball. Flatten dough while shaping into a log about 10-12 inches in length and 3-4 inches in width. You will need to rotate dough (or loosen with a bench scraper or pastry cutter) to prevent it from sticking. Add more flour underneath if necessary. Cut dough into 10 triangles. Place 1-2 inches apart on baking sheet, top with remaining 1 tablespoon of orange-sugar.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chill uncooked scones in freezer for at least 30 minutes (once frozen, dough can be wrapped and stored for up to a month and baked at any time. But you’ve now seen my freezer, and the fact that I have no room, and are correct in assuming that anything that goes into it inevitably makes it’s way to the bottom or the back and is lost forever. Moving on, though…).
Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Cool for a few minutes prior to serving. Best if eaten the same day.