Scone or Scon? Well, since I live in Canada I am going with Scone. Who can forget taking their first bite into a crunchy fresh baked one? It was not something my mother made, and why I don’t know; mom was a fantastic biscuit baker, if fact she was a bit of a biscuit snob ( they had to be just the right shape and size). Why she didn’t make the leap to scones is beyond me, because the way I see it we missed out big time. Scones are definitely related to a biscuit, but they usually serve different purposes, but then again not always (savoury cheese scones could be used in a recipe where biscuits would be ideal).
That is my dear mom on the left in the photo with the girls, and the one on the right is my aunt. They look like they are having quite a laugh about something. Don’t you think life was so much more uncomplicated back in the good old days? When friends and family were there for each other; never too busy to drop what they were doing and help out. That’s what I remember about growing up back east…aunts, uncles, cousins, friends always coming and going, there to sit and chat for a while or to just listen when needed. People that truly connected and not by texting. I would come home from school and there would be three cheerful women, some on step ladders, all helping mom paint her kitchen. The tea pot was always on the stove, and something sweet and usually with molasses would be served.
I certainly have discovered that mom had a lot of recipes, but alas, none for scones. That’s o.k. I just so happen to have come up with a great one, and I know it would have been mom approved! I should mention, it took me years to make the kind of biscuits that would have been worthy of mom. When I moved out of home, I left with her recipe for biscuits, but I could never master them, and you all know the joke about biscuits looking like hockey pucks, you get the picture. So, I will admit to going out and buying a box to two of “Bisquick Mix”, when I was homesick for my mom’s baked beans and hot biscuits. However, once I successfully mastered the art of biscuit making, it was only logical to take the next step into scone making. My guys were happy I did, and with a little practice, you will be too!
Do you think a Scone made with lemons and cranberries sounds too tart? Trust me, they won’t be because sweetened dried cranberries are used. You can certainly use fresh cranberries, however you might want to switch up the lemon for a sweeter fruit such as an orange, and add another tablespoon of sugar to the batter.
This recipe for Lemon, Cranberry Scones, along with my one for Granola, is one you will want to have on hand as a standby for a relaxing Saturday morning with family, friends, or for that matter, anytime you need to have that feeling of warm kitchens, nostalgia, or your just plain old missing mom! For years I have shared this recipe with family and friends, and as you will soon find out, these scones are a far cry from any you may purchase from a package.
You will absolutely love biting into these buttery scones, as a burst of sugary lemon crunch topping assails your taste buds. Suddenly, your kids think you are the greatest mom again! Hey, why not have another, after all scones don’t stay fresh for long. Talk about baking perfection!
Make up a batch during the week, freeze without cooking, take them out on the weekend, pop in oven, sit back in your favourite chair with your coffee, relax, …….just a few more minutes in the oven and they will be done! Your teenagers might even get out of bed when that beautiful aroma hits them!
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2½ cups all purpose flour, measured carefully and sifted
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup cold butter grated using a box grater
- ½-3/4 cups dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾-1 cup milk (depending on how the dough is coming together) whole milk or 2% milk with a bit of cream works well in this recipe
- 1 tablespoon cream for brushing the tops
- Preheat oven to 425F. degrees.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons sugar with lemon zest, mix well and set aside.
- In another large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add cold butter, and using fingertips gently rub together flour mixture until it resembles small peas, but do not over mix. Mix in cranberries, breaking up any that have clumped together.
- Add lemon juice to ¾ cup milk; add to flour mixture. Toss with fork, just until the dough comes together. Again do not over mix or scones will be tough.
- Gather dough together; turn out onto lightly floured surface.
- Pat dough into a 8- inch circle. Brush the tops with 1 tablespoon cream. Cut dough in half, then cut each half into 4 wedges using a pizza cutter for a total of 8. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure the wedges do not touch each other, as they will expand, and you want the edges crispy. Sprinkle the reserved sugar/lemon zest mixture on the tops and sides of wedges.
- Bake at 425 F. degrees, (the hot oven will help the scones to rise), for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 400 F.degrees. and bake for a further 8-10 minutes, until golden in colour.
- Remove from oven; best enjoyed while warm, with butter of course!