Dried Cranberry, Walnut, and Lemon Scones
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, dived
- 1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup (or more) chilled half and half, divided
Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in bowl for glaze.
Whisk flour, baking powder, lemon peel, salt, and 1 cup sugar in large bowl. Add chilled butter; using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Mix in cranberries and walnuts. Add 1/2 cup half and half and1 tablespoon lemon juice. Toss with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more half and half if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Press out each half on floured surface to 6-inch-diameter (1-inch-high) round. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Transfer to baking sheet; brush with glaze.
Bake scones until golden and tester comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Lemon-Walnut Scones with Cranberry Cream Cheese
Purchase ground walnuts (sometimes labeled walnut meal) at health-food stores, gourmet markets, and some supermarkets. Or grind your own in a food processor or spice or coffee grinder in short pulses (don't overdo it, or you'll end up with walnut butter). You'll need about 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts to yield 1/4 cup ground. Chopped cranberries tint the cream cheese mulberry. The scones are best served warm, but you can prepare and refrigerate the cranberry mixture up to four days in advance.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 5 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for topping
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2/3 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) half-and-half
- 1/2 cup halved cranberries, drained on paper towels
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2/3 cup half-and-half until just moistened. Gently fold in cranberries.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently, 5 to 10 times. Pat into a 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges place on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush tops with remaining tablespoon half-and-half sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
Here's your basic "start here" scone recipe. While this simple vanilla scone is delicious as is, it's also the perfect vehicle for your favorite add-ins we happen to love dried cranberries and walnuts. Though chocolate chips are tempting, too!
- 2 3/4 cups (326g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/3 cup (67g) sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 8 tablespoons (113g) butter, cold
- 1 cup to 2 cups chopped dried fruit, chocolate or other flavored chips, nuts, Jammy Bits*, or a combination, optional
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or the flavoring of your choice
- 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup to 113 (152g) half-and-half or milk
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
Stir in the fruit, chips, and/or nuts, if you're using them.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half-and-half or milk. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients.
Using a bowl scraper or a large spoon, stir the dough ingredients until all is moistened and holds together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment if you don't have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.
Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5" circle (if you haven't incorporated any add-ins) or a 6" circle (if you've added fruit, nuts, etc.). The circles should be about 3/4" thick.
Using a knife or bench knife that you've run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.
Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon-sugar.
Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit there should be about 1/2" space between them, at their outer edges.
For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Chilling the scones relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper third.
Bake the scones in the upper part of your oven for 18 to 23 minutes, or until they're a light golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through the edge shouldn't look wet or unbaked.
Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. They're delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam, if you like.
When the scones are completely cool, wrap them in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
Tips from our Bakers
Looking for a gluten-free version of this recipe? Find it here: Gluten-Free Whole Grain Scones.
Why the range in milk? Flour is like a sponge it absorbs liquid during humid weather, and dries out in dry weather. In summer or when it's hot and humid, use the lesser amount of milk in this recipe during winter, or when it's very dry, use the greater amount. Either way, start with the smaller amount, and drizzle it in until the dough is the correct consistency.
Want to use a different combination of add-ins or even make savory scones? Learn to bake customized scones based on the flavors you're craving.
Looking for a different kind of add-in? Try Jammy Bits, sweet, soft little morsels of fruit purée.
Meyer Lemon, Fresh Cranberry & Walnut Scones// Makes 8 very large scones or 16 small scones or quite possibly 12 mediums scones //
- 1 ½ cups (140 g) fresh cranberries (or frozen), either chopped by hand or in a food processor into medium sized pieces
- 1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts, crushed into small-ish pieces
- 1/4 cup sugar
- zest of 2 meyer lemons (or substitute 1 regular lemon and 1 orange)
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (210g)
- 1 cup finely milled whole wheat flour flour (113g)
- 1 TB baking powder (12g)
- 3/4 tsp sea salt (3g)
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 stick (8 TB) butter, cut into small-ish chunks, very cold (straight from fridge)
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk or cream/moo milk, plus 1 TB for brushing tops
- 2 eggs
- 4 tsp demerara sugar, or coconut sugar, for sprinkling on top of scones
- Measure the sugar in large bowl, and zest citrus on top of sugar. Rub the sugar and zest together until fragrant and incorporated.
- Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg over the lemon zest sugar in the large bowl. Mix everything together thoroughly with a fork.
- Cut butter in using pastry cutter or the fork, or, use your fingers. Butter chunks should be about the size of peas and dimes, with some a little larger and a little smaller. Using your hands at the very end to rub the butter between your fingers and thumbs to create sheets of butter to form flatter pieces of butter that will create layers and lift when baked. Work quickly to not melt the butter with the heat of your hands.
- Stir in the almond milk/egg mixture, mix for a few stirs, then add the cranberries and walnuts. With a spatula, mix briefly, but confidently, until mostly no dry patches remain (but a rough, shaggy texture with dry-ish spots here and there is perfect!). Turn out onto a lightly floured board, gather the dough, divide in roughly have and stack the pieces, repeating this once more for optimum layering of butter for flakiness. Divide in half, and form each half into a 6” diameter disc that is 1.5” thick.
- Cut each half into 4 triangles for huge scones, or 8 triangles for smaller scones, or even 6 triangles for medium-ish scones (if cutting the discs into 8 each, they will be small-but don’t worry, they rise and puff), and place on a lined sheet tray. Freeze for 30-45 minutes (or, freeze all the way, wrap individually once firm, place in a bag or container and bake off as directed when desired).
- Preheat oven to 425F. When heated, take scones from freezer, brush with cream or milk, and sprinkle each with ½ tsp (or a generous pinch!) of demerara sugar.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and fragrant. Frozen scones may need a minute or two more. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then enjoy! These are best fresh, but baked scones can be freshed in a hot oven (350F) for a few minutes. Cheers!
Fragrant meyer lemon zest is rubbed into sugar…the best type of aromatherapy in the kitchen!
Chopped cranberries (either fresh or frozen work here, I used frozen, and chopped them in the food processor). The color is so damn festive!
Walnuts, a natural pair with cranberry!
Alright. You’ve measured/weighed and sifted, now to cut in the butter. Using your fingers, working quickly, is encouraged. Flat, larger pieces will produce puffy, layered scones. Then, we confidently and quickly stir in the milk and egg mixture. The key phrase for scones: hot shaggy mess. Literally. This will look like a goddamn nightmare, but never fear: the shaggier, the more “undermixed”, the lighter the scone. Seriously. You cannot go wrong.
In goes the rubble of cranberry and walnuts! A quick stir and fold of sorts with a spatula to get it all in there…still a shaggy hot mess…you’re doing great…you just gotta trust your inner baker here.
Alright. The scone batter gets a quick pat down. Sliced. You got it…if you’re feeling greedy, cut into larger triangles. If you’re feeling more petite….
…then cut each disc into 8 triangles. I guess you try cutting each disc into 6, and settle in the middle…whatever you want!
The chunks! The butter! The love! Ahh. You nailed it!
Get these ruby-speckled babies into the freezer. Clean up your mess. Make a coffee. Maybe just admire one more time how just kinda cute these little dudes are…
Love it. Ok, carry on. Get your oven preheated. Brush with milk or cream. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Bake bake bake…coffee coffee coffee….(or tea? I dunno..whatever you want!)…Just enjoy! Share, repeat. Happiest baking to you all!
Meyer lemon and fresh cranberry scones
The fresh cranberry gets no love. I can’t tell you how many recipes I have sifted through recently that boasted cranberry in their titles only to find out that they were actually calling for those shriveled and over-sweetened dried ones. Why must fresh cranberries be “the neglected stepchild of the season“? It is totally undeserved.
Fresh cranberries are prettier. They’re impressively hardy, keeping for weeks in the fridge and even longer in the freezer with no noticeable aging. And even though I think this is what puts people off, they have a tartness that makes everything they touch better. Because when you put something tart against something sweet, you get a fantastic contrast and this complexity, my friends, is a very good thing.
Like here, in a lemon and fresh cranberry scone. Not so different from the dreamy, creamy scones I have been yammering about for years now–what can I say? I never forget a good scone–they’re so much better with fresh fruit, especially cranberries. They’re tart and mildly sweet and fragrant with a mildly crisp edge and softest insides and perfect in every way.
Meyer Lemon Fresh Cranberry Scones
Adapted from Gourmet
One of my favorite things about scones is how well they work when you need to plan in advance. Simply roll them out and cut them before flash-freezing them separately on a tray, and sealing them in a freezer bag until you’re ready to bake them. You can bake them right from the freezer, only needing to add 3 to 5 extra minutes baking time. Scones are always best when they’re freshly baked.
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons preferably Meyer)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons additional if using fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 1/4 cups fresh cranberries, chopped coarse, or 1 1/4 cups dried cranberries, if you insist
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
Accompaniment: creme fraiche or whipped cream
Preheat oven to 400°F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
With a vegetable peeler remove the zest from lemons and chop fine, reserving lemons for another use.
In a food processor pulse flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and zest until mixture resembles coarse meal and transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl toss together fresh cranberries and 3 tablespoons sugar and stir into flour mixture. If using dried fruit, add to flour mixture.
In another small bowl lightly beat egg and yolk and stir in cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
On a well-floured surface with floured hands pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round (about 8 inches in diameter) and with a 2-inch round cutter or rim of a glass dipped in flour cut out as many rounds as possible, rerolling scraps as necessary. Arrange rounds about 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until pale golden.
[I decided to rebel and pat them into a square and cut them into smaller ones. The square shapes didn’t keep very well, so I don’t recommend this! Learn from me, people.]
Serve scones warm with creme fraiche or whipped cream. Scones keep, individually wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, chilled, 1 day or frozen 1 week.
This basic recipe for cranberry almond scones is great for changing up with different ingredients. There are several variations you can make, including these ideas:
- Cranberry Walnut Scones – sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped over the top of scones after icing.
- Lemon Cranberry Scones – use 1 Tbsp lemon zest and/or lemon extract in place of almond extract.
- Cranberry Orange Scones – use 1 Tbsp orange zest and/or orange extract in place of almond extract.
- Cherry Almond Scones – swap out the dried cranberries for dried cherries to give these scones a yummy cherry taste.
Because the fat in the heavy cream is essential for creating a perfectly soft, flaky scone, I do not recommend that you substitute with milk or half & half.
You want to use self-rising flour because it already contains ingredients necessary to make the scones rise. If you want to use all purpose flour, you’ll need to add baking powder and salt to the recipe.
Look at those golden domes. Imperfectly craggy, speckled with cranberries with a tempting meyer lemon aroma. If you just can&rsquot help yourself, feel free to snatch one of the cranberry lemon scones right from the tray and gobble it up (purely for quality control purposes.) They are delicious as is, but if you want to add a little extra, give them a lacquer of sweet glaze.
You can drizzle or spoon the glaze over your scones, but I like to full on DREDGE THEM.
Scones Recipe – Cranberry Walnut Scones
When I was growing up, my mother had a fondness for anything British. She loved watching British movies and was fascinated with British royalty. Tea was a ritual and it generally included scones of some type and fancy teacups.
Don’t be afraid to change up the flavor of this scones recipe. You can easily substitute chocolate chips for the cranberries if you prefer. Or you can use raisins, chopped apricots or any other type of dried fruit you have on hand. Toss in a handful of blueberries for a blueberry scones recipe. Or, don’t put anything extra in for a plain scones recipe.
Now if you’re wondering what to put on scones, it’s traditional to add clotted cream. Clotted cream is a thick cream that you can make at home if you want to. I haven’t ever found any at the stores here in my area. If you want a substitution, try jam and butter.
Scones are believed to have originated in the early 1500s and are traditionally triangular shaped. In Scotland, they are often made with oat flour but can also be made with wheat or barley flour as well. Normally, scones are sweet however they can be made savory with additions of cheese, finely chopped onions and crumbled bacon.
Traditionally, scones are served with tea as the main part of a Devonshire tea. A Devonshire tea involves splitting your scone in half and covering it with clotted cream and strawberry jam and is a British tradition dating back to the eleventh century. I find using a mini scones pan helps keep them uniform in size and shape. Have you ever tried a scones recipe before? What did you put in yours?
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- To Store: Scones are best eaten fresh. If you do have leftovers, your best bet to keeping them fresh is to freeze them. Freeze baked and cooled scones until hard then transfer to resealable plastic bags. Keep up to three weeks. To reheat, bake in a 350 degree F oven until warmed. It shouldn’t take long.
- You can also freeze unbaked scone dough. Chill cut scones in the freezer until firm, and then transfer to resealable plastic bags. Keep up to three weeks. Bake in a 425 degree F oven straight from the freezer. (They may take a few extra minutes).
- Recipe inspired and adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
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