Monday, March 10, 2008

heidi swanson's mega scones

Friday I found myself itching to try something new, I wanted to do a little experimentation in the kitchen. i had spent some time during the earlier part of the week just browsing through the countless number of food blogs out there and decided that I wanted to try and make something different, I wanted to try my hand at baking. i'm not a baker, i've tried but my list of successes is quite short. in my browsing, i came across heidi swanson's recipe, over at 101 cookbooks,for these raspberry mega scones that not only looked quite good but also quite do-able and that's what i wanted. the recipe wasn't fussy and the amount of ingredients needed was minimal. perfect. i went with her recipe as a base and made just a few modificiations to suit what i had on hand. Here's my version:


  • 2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tbs free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (2 oz), chilled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 5 oz whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 oz or 6 tbs cherry preserves

What to do:

start by pre-heating your oven to 375 and lining a cookie sheet with either some parchment paper or a silpat if you have one. if you go with the parchment paper, spray it with some non-stick spray to ensure that the scone doesn't stick to it and possibly tear or break.that's it for the prep work, onto the baking part.

combine your dry ingredients- the flour, baking powder and salt- in a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor. cut your butter into the mix using a pastry blender or take the old fashioned path and use 2 knives. if you have your food processor handy, then just pulse the butter into the mix until it starts to look like small pebbles as shown in one of the picture's above. time for the sugar and a little more pulse action. pulse,pulse. done. onto the milk, lemon zest and vanilla extract. pulse,pulse,pulse. your mixture's coming alive. exciting isn't it? once your done pulsing, take your semi-living mix and lay it onto your lined cooking sheet. i went with heidi's instructions and rolled it out into a 9" square that was 1/2" thick. simple enough. time to dress up the mix with a preserve of your choice. like i said, i went with chunky cherry preserves. i'd bet apricot would be good, even blackberry and quite possibly mango. just go with whatever sounds good to you, mix and match if you wish. when finished, bring the left side over to the middle and then repeat with the right side. at this point, you can either do an egg wash, or brush it with some melted butter and sprinkle it with some sugar,i would try raw or even brown. i just brushed it with some butter this time but i'll definitely try adding the sugar next time.

time for the oven. how long before you can have a piece? 18 minutes. mmmm.

once out, you can wrap it and it'll last i'd say 3 days. you can have it for breakfast or even dessert. heat it up and top if off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. if you take this route, you can maybe heat some more of the preserves and drizzle it over the ice cream. good stuff i think. enjoy.

  • question: what do you think your choice preserve(s) would be?
  • what other additions would you make to this recipe?
  • favorite breakfast treat?
  • favorite pastry?
  • favorite all around indulgence?


Nicolette (Nikki) Miller-Ka said...

I see you used preserves from Extra Ingredient. I love that place. I go there every weekend to buy something. Im a fiend!

I'd use apricot preserves, I think. I'd add orange zest, cardamom instead. I'd also use course sugar (not raw) on top. Since raw is brown, I'd want to make the sugar stand out.

My favorite pastry is a butter croissant. With extra butter...shhh. Don't tell anyone :)

kat said...

I guess I'd skip the preserves all together because I'm not a big fan of them. I like my scones flavored with things like cinnamon or like the ones I made last week with lavender. I'm weird I've never liked jams or jellies on anything. My favorite breakfast thing is probably fresh popovers

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