Currant and Orange Scones

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Scones
Currant and Orange Scones

Warm, buttery-rich scones straight from the oven.  Can’t you just conjure up the mouthwatering scent! These Currant and Orange Scones are light and flaky and have an internal crumb that is moist, soft, and tender.

Scones
Currant and Orange Scones

I have a published article on my website that talks all about making scones.  If you are not familiar with scones, how to make them, or have tried without success in the past to produce satisfactory scones, I would encourage you to read that article first before making this scone recipe.  To view that article, click here.  It contains many tips and detailed instructions for successfully making wonderful scones that have puffy rise and lovely texture.

Scones
Currant and Orange Scones

What follows is my basic scone recipe to which I have added currants and orange zest.  If you don’t care for currents, simply leave them out along with the orange zest and you will have lovely plain scones like the one in the photo below.

Scone
Cream Scone

If using the currants, I recommend rehydrating them in hot orange juice for a few minutes before making the scones.  Make sure the currents are drained before incorporating them into the dry ingredients and  any drained juice is discarded.  It will discolor the lovely pale dough of scones and it will add liquid that is not taken into account in the ingredient content.

Scones with English Double Cream and Strawberry Jam
Currant and Orange Scone spread with English Double Cream and Strawberry Jam

All ingredients need to be cold for scones.  My recipe calls for unsalted butter; however, salted butter may be substituted, in which case, reduce the salt called for in the recipe from ½ teaspoon to ¼ teaspoon.

Scones
Currant and Orange Scones Dusted with Icing Sugar

Use the good stuff in scones! Yes, the pure butter and whipping cream. These scones are meant to be decadent and rich. These two ingredients alone impart numerous wonderful attributes to scones and, in order to get the layers of flakiness, perfect rise, and fabulous flavor, they are necessary.

Scones
Currant and Orange Scones

For a successful end result, I recommend no substitutes for any ingredients listed in this recipe.

Scones
Currant and Orange Scones

While scones are traditional for Cream Teas and Afternoon Teas, they may be enjoyed anytime and fine bone china is not required! They are perfect for casual coffee or tea breaks and are a great addition to the lunch bag, too.

Scones
Currant and Orange Scones

Scones are traditionally served with strawberry jam and English double cream or clotted cream.

Scones with Lemon Curd, Strawberry Jam, and English Double Cream
Scones with Strawberry Jam, Lemon Curd, and English Double Cream

Lemon Curd often accompanies scones and complements them beautifully.

Dishes of Strawberry Jam, Lemon Curd, and English Double Cream for Scones
Dishes of Strawberry Jam, Lemon Curd, and English Double Cream for Scones

I have not been able to find clotted cream in my area but one local supermarket here in PEI does carry the imported English Double Cream and it is divine on scones.

English Double Cream for Scones
English Double Cream for Scones

Place a spoonful of the English double cream on a split scone and top it with jam as per the Devonshire method or, do as the Cornish do and spread the jam (or lemon curd) on the split scone first and top it with a dollop of the rich cream. Either way is good!

English Double Cream
Spoonful of English Double Cream

 

Scones with Cream and Jam
Currant and Orange Scones with English Double Cream and Strawberry Jam

 

Lemon Curd and English Double Cream on Scone
Lemon Curd and English Double Cream on Currant and Orange Scone

However, if the cream is just a little too rich for your taste or is not available in your area, these scones are perfectly lovely with a slather of butter and a spoonful of favorite jam, any kind your heart desires! I particularly like my homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam and Gooseberry Jam on these scones.

Scones
Currant and Orange Scones

A spot of tea really is just lovely with scones and it is Earl Grey tea that is in my teapot today.  Coffee drinkers, don’t despair – coffee is, indeed, a suitable beverage to enjoy with these Currant and Orange Scones!

Currant Scones
Currant Scones with a spot of Tea

[Printable Recipe Follows at end of Posting]

Currant and Orange Scones

Ingredients:

½ cup currants rehydrated and plumped in 2½ tbsp hot orange juice then drained and any remaining juice discarded

2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

1/3 cup cold unsalted* butter, chopped into ½“ cubes

2 tsp finely grated orange zest

1 large egg (cold), lightly beaten with fork
½ cup whipping cream (cold) (with 3/4 tbsp removed and reserved for brushing tops of scones)
¼ cup of 2% milk (cold)

1 – 2 tsp granulated or turbinado sugar for sprinkling tops of scones (optional)

Method:

Rehydrate currents in hot orange juice in small bowl for 20-30 minutes. Drain and discard any remaining orange juice. Set currants aside.

Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In large bowl, sieve or sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Drop the cubes of butter into the dry ingredients and toss to coat the butter. Cut in the butter with a wire pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs or pea-sized pieces. Quickly run fingers through the mixture several times, scooping up bits of the butter and rubbing them into long paper-thin slivers between the thumb and forefinger. It is not necessary to do this with every piece of butter – just quickly pick several at random.

Stir in the orange zest and drained currants. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl or large measuring cup, lightly whisk the egg, whipping cream, and milk together. Pour liquid ingredients all at once into well in center of dry ingredients. Using a fork, stir dough just enough that the liquid is absorbed into the dry ingredients and the dough can be roughly brought together. Dough will be soft and sticky and some floury spots may remain. Transfer dough onto lightly floured work surface, gently working it just until the dry ingredients are barely incorporated and a shaggy dough mass forms.

Fold the dough in half over onto itself. Lightly press the dough down. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat the folding exercise. Do this 3-4 times, taking care not to overhandle or overwork the dough.

To make wedge-shaped scones: With a bench/pastry scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into two equal parts. Lightly press and form each part into a small circle about ¾” thick. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cut each circle into six equal wedges and separate the scones by about ¾”, still keeping each group of six wedges in a circular shape for baking.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the reserved whipping cream on tops of scones and sprinkle with sugar.

To make round-shaped scones: Lightly press dough into circle about ¾“ thick. Use a lightly floured 1¾” – 2” round cutter to cut scones from dough. Push the cutter straight down and out of the dough without twisting it in the process. Re-flour the cutter before cutting out each scone. Gather dough scraps and form into a circle from which to cut remaining scones, being careful to work the dough no more than absolutely necessary to bring it together. Transfer scones to prepared baking sheet, placing scones about 1” apart.

Lightly brush the reserved whipping cream on tops of scones and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake scones 15-17 minutes or until they are just light golden brown on the edges and tops are golden tanned. Rotate the baking sheet partway through the baking. Remove scones from oven and leave them on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.

*salted butter may be substituted for the unsalted butter in which case, reduce the 1/2 teaspoon of salt called for in the recipe to 1/4 teaspoon.

To serve: Serve warm scones along with clotted or English double cream and a favorite jam. Or, simply enjoy with a good slather or butter on the scones.

Yield: 1 dozen wedge-shaped scones or 10 – 2” round scones (exact number will depend on size of cutter used)

Currant and Orange Scones

Serve these melt-in-the-mouth Currant and Orange Scones with clotted cream, English double cream, and your favorite fruit jam or lemon curd.
Course Scones
Keyword Scones, Teatime
Servings 12
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

  • ½ cup currants rehydrated and plumped in 2½ tbsp hot orange juice then drained and any remaining juice discarded
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup cold unsalted* butter, chopped into ½“ cubes
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 1 large egg (cold), lightly beaten with fork
  • ½ cup whipping cream (cold) (with 3/4 tbsp removed and reserved for brushing tops of scones)
  • ¼ cup of 2% milk (cold)
  • 1 – 2 tsp granulated or turbinado sugar for sprinkling tops of scones (optional)

Instructions

  1. Rehydrate currents in hot orange juice in small bowl for 20-30 minutes. Drain and discard any remaining orange juice. Set currants aside.
  2. Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In large bowl, sieve or sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Drop the cubes of butter into the dry ingredients and toss to coat the butter. Cut in the butter with a wire pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs or pea-sized pieces. Quickly run fingers through the mixture several times, scooping up bits of the butter and rubbing them into long paper-thin slivers between the thumb and forefinger. It is not necessary to do this with every piece of butter – just quickly pick several at random.
  4. Stir in the orange zest and drained currants. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  5. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, lightly whisk the egg, whipping cream, and milk together. Pour liquid ingredients all at once into well in center of dry ingredients. Using a fork, stir dough just enough that the liquid is absorbed into the dry ingredients and the dough can be roughly brought together. Dough will be soft and sticky and some floury spots may remain. Transfer dough onto lightly floured work surface, gently working it just until the dry ingredients are barely incorporated and a shaggy dough mass forms.
  6. Fold the dough in half over onto itself. Lightly press the dough down. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat the folding exercise. Do this 3-4 times, taking care not to overhandle or overwork the dough.

To make wedge-shaped scones:

  1. With a bench/pastry scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into two equal parts. Lightly press and form each part into a small circle about ¾” thick. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cut each circle into six equal wedges and separate the scones by about ¾”, still keeping each group of six wedges in a circular shape for baking.
  2. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the reserved whipping cream on tops of scones and sprinkle with sugar.

To make round-shaped scones:

  1. Lightly press dough into circle about ¾“ thick. Use a lightly floured 1¾” – 2” round cutter to cut scones from dough. Push the cutter straight down and out of the dough without twisting it in the process. Re-flour the cutter before cutting out each scone. Gather dough scraps and form into a circle from which to cut remaining scones, being careful to work the dough no more than absolutely necessary to bring it together. Transfer scones to prepared baking sheet, placing scones about 1” apart.
  2. Lightly brush the reserved whipping cream on tops of scones and sprinkle with sugar.
  3. Bake scones 15-17 minutes or until they are just light golden brown on the edges and tops are golden tanned. Rotate the baking sheet partway through the baking. Remove scones from oven and leave them on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.

Recipe Notes

*Note: Salted butter may be substituted for the unsalted butter in which case, reduce the 1/2 teaspoon of salt called for in the recipe to 1/4 teaspoon.

To serve:
Serve warm scones along with clotted or English double cream and a favorite jam. Or, simply enjoy with a good slather or butter on the scones.

Yield: 1 dozen wedge-shaped scones or 10 – 2” round scones (exact number will depend on size of cutter used)

To learn more about how to make perfect scones, click on the link below:

How to Make Perfect Scones

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Scones
Currant and Orange Scones

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