March 17, 2018

Cream scones

Sometimes, I buy cream for a particular recipe and find myself with some leftover that I'd like to use up.  This last time, I thought I'd make some cream scones.
These cream scones are made with butter, egg, and cream - these are rich, crumbly, somewhat flaky, biscuit-like American-style scones.  They're a bit like shortbread cookies with a soft interior.  (In contrast, British-style scones are more cake-like, fluffier and softer - well-suited for splitting and topping with things like clotted cream and jam.)
Once in a while, I'll make a batch of scones and pop them in the freezer so we can have them freshly baked and warm for breakfast.  It's very easy to take them straight from the freezer and into the oven.  So this is what I had in mind and what I did.  That said, it's a struggle for me to work with this kind of American-style scone dough (so it's good to have more practice)...I find the dough generally dry and it's tricky to bring it together to shape and cut without over-handling it.

Frankly, I muddle through and do the best I can.  And while British-style scones might be better suited for splitting and slathering with jam and whatnot, I still sliced these and spread them with things like lemon curd (I use this small-batch recipe) and strawberry jam.  

That way, no one really notices if my scones aren't quite as light and tender as they could be!  

Before baking, I brushed the tops of the scones with cream and showered them with sanding sugar for a little extra color and even more texture.  As you can see, these scones are quite biscuit-like with a flaky, crunchy top and sides.  I didn't manage to slice them without breakage - be ready for lots of crumbs while eating these!

These cream scones don't lack for richness and could well be eaten on their own (or flavored with citrus zest and things like currants).  Once the butter has been cut into the dry ingredients to the point of coarse meal, it's time to introduce the egg and cream.
The recipe says to start with 4 tablespoons of heavy cream, and add another tablespoon if necessary.  I'm tempted to say you might as well start with the 5 tablespoons because the dough invariably needs it.
I like turning the dough out onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap and using it to bring the dough together (instead of my hands).  I confess I likely over-handled the dough in my effort to get it to come together.  
In the end, I managed to get 6 rounds out of the dough, using about a 2 1/2 inch round cutter.  At this point, you can freeze the cut scones and once frozen solid, wrap them up and store them until you want to bake them.
In the morning I planned to bake them, I preheated the oven to 425 degrees.  I took the scones I wanted to bake straight from the freezer, brushed them with cream and sprinkled a bit of sanding sugar on top.  They take about 15 minutes or so...if you feel they need a bit more time but the bottom is browning too much, you can lower the oven temp to 400 degrees or keep the scones in the oven but turn the oven off and allow them to sit for a few extra minutes.  Seting the baking sheet on a higher rack helps me with this as well. 
Fresh baked goods - straight from your home oven - are always a treat for breakfast!  The smell of something sweet and buttery baking always seems to wake up the house and get everyone to the breakfast table quickly. 
You don't need it but my husband and I look for excuses to eat lemon curd.  I made a small batch ahead of time and not only is the tart-sweetness a nice sensation taste-wise, the bright yellow color is such a cheerful way to start the day!


Cream Scones
Adapted from Food Network

- Makes about six 2 1/2 inch round scones - 

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg
4-5 tablespoons heavy cream
Optional: cream and sugar, for topping

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together.  Add the butter and cut it into the flour using a pastry cutter and/or your fingertips until it resembles coarse meal.  

In a small bowl or measuring cup, beat the egg and 4 tablespoons of the cream together with a fork.  Add this to the flour mixture and stir together (you can use the fork or your hands) until the dough just comes together.  If the mixture is too dry (and it usually is), add the extra tablespoon of cream.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface (or onto a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper; I like to use it to bring the dough together) and pat the dough together into about a 1-inch thick round.  Cut out rounds using a 2 or 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (alternatively, you can simply slice it into wedges), reshaping the dough to use up leftovers.  

To bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Set scones onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the scones with cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until scones are golden brown.  Serve warm.

Make ahead: You can freeze the cut, unbaked, scones ahead of time to bake on another day.  Place cut scones onto a lined baking sheet and once frozen solid, wrap the scones and place into a freezer bag.  Bake straight from frozen, as directed, adding a couple of extra minutes to the bake time, as necessary.


  1. They look very flaky and delicious! I must bake a huge batch soon because my husband just loves them.

    1. The flakiness does make it worth the effort of trying to form this kind of dough! : )

  2. Scones are the PERFECT breakfast treat! Love these flakey bites of buttery deliciousness :)

    1. Tricia, I know you are wiz with dough so this would be no challenge for you. I think I prefer to make British/Devon style scones since it's so much easier to form and shape...but that said, both textures have different things going for it.

  3. Topping it with lemon curd, oh my that is on my to do list. We have not made scones in a long time but after seeing this simple recipe must make a batch straight away. Take care.

    1. I love that bright tart yet sweet lemon curd! Might be better on the "plainer" British style scones but honestly, it works on anything.

  4. Lots of crumbles isn't necessary a bad thing...more for the chef to nibble on. :D

  5. You are such a scones-pro! They look perfect and oh the lemon curd! How did I never try that. Nothing like a freshly baked treat for breakfast.

    1. That couldn't be farther from the truth! haha. I am terrible at making American-style scones. I find the dough dry and intimidating/hard to work with w/o over handling. But it does seem to come together somehow, if very imperfectly. : )



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