I am usually ..ummm.. ok..with scones; they are alright I guess. I'll be frank; I would have chosen a muffin over a scone any day. And, that is actually out of character for me because I typically prefer English over American. To be fair though, the scones I had tasted were from Starbucks and some local bakeries in NYC. Short of crossing the Atlantic, these were the best I could do. And, I really did not find much in them to make me fall in love with scones in general. So, whenever Ina Garten made breakfast scones, I found them interesting but was not inspired to make them myself... until today..
My friend stayed over with us last weekend. Both of us love to bake. In fact, she is pretty famous for her fabulous desserts! As it happens, we also share a fantasy for the perfect breakfast inspired by Enid Blyton novels; of waking up to a decadent European breakfast complete with fresh baked bread, homemade jam and delicious coffee. She was so moved one day by thoughts of this ideal breakfast, she decided to make it real. She made scones....
I suppose that conversation must have made some impact deep in my subconscious because today, out of the blue, I decided to brave the humid and hot afternoon and make scones!! I must say, the fruits of my toil were very worth the effort! My orange scones were sooo good! Light, fluffy and even if I say so myself, stupendously better that the ones I have had so far! My loyalties have changed. Give me my orange scone and I'll give you my heart!
I think the secret to my scones being so light was using a part-yogurt part-cream combination and adding tons of orange zest which really adds wonderful freshness to the scone. I had a warm scone with my evening tea and it just made my day... I am really trying hard to resist eating up all of them before my husband gets even a taste. Well, we'll see how that goes...!
My recipe makes about 12 scones depending on size. Since we are just the two of us at home, I just used half the dough and froze the rest. Now, I have scone dough all ready when my next craving hits. Oh! and I am sure it will... pretty soon! :)
(about 12 scones)
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick cold butter
1 orange - zest and juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 egg yolk, room temperature
egg white for wash + sugar for garnish
Sift all the dry ingredients together. Using either a pastry blender or two forks cut the butter into the flour mixture till the butter pieces are the size of peas or smaller. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, zest, orange juice, yogurt, cream and sour cream.
Pour into the dry mixture and fold until completely incorporated. Do not over mix. Roll out onto a well floured surface and pat down to 1 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter or just a well-floured knife to cut into any shape you want. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the crust is golden. Cool on rack for a few minutes.
Serve warm with butter and marmalade.
Note : To make the egg wash, add 1 teaspoon of water to the egg white and beat till frothy.