Cranberry and Lemon Scones

Christmas Scones
Cranberry and Lemon Scones

These Cranberry and Lemon Scones are a lovely treat any time of the year but, with their bright red cranberries, are especially seasonal over the Christmas period. Serve them with a favorite jam or curd, such as either my Cranberry Curd or Lemon Curd.

I won’t go into a lot of detail in this posting about how to make scones. If you are unfamiliar with the procedure or need some hints and tips for making scones, please visit my tutorial posting on the subject by clicking here.

Christmas Scones
Cranberry and Lemon Scones

Depending on the size of the cranberries, they may be left whole or chopped – really tiny cranberries, I would leave whole but the larger ones, I do chop up into smaller pieces. I do not recommend mixing the cranberries (either fresh or frozen) into the dough as it is being mixed because they will bleed and alter the color of the scones. Rather, I recommend gently pressing the cranberries into the dough as you fold it over a few times in preparation for cutting out the scones. The cut-up cranberries may still bleed a little bit but, pressing them into the dough at a late stage along with the least amount of handling of the dough possible after the berries have been added, will reduce the “bleeding” significantly.

Scones
Cranberry and Lemon Scone

Cranberry and Lemon Scones

Ingredients:

¾ cup coarsely chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen) – very small cranberries may be left whole

2 cups all-purpose flour
5 tbsp granulated sugar
2½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/16 tsp cardamom

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

2½ tsp finely grated lemon 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:

Coarsely chop large cranberries into 2-3 pieces each. Small cranberries may be left whole. Measure ¾ cup of cranberries after chopping.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In large bowl, sieve or sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom 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 here and there 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 lemon zest. 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. Gently press about one-quarter of the cranberries into the dough. Continue with the fold-over process and pressing more of the cranberries into the dough each time. Do this 3-4 times, taking care not to overhandle or overwork the dough. Shape dough loosely into a circular shape.

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. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Remove scones from refrigerator and, 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. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Remove scones from refrigerator and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the reserved whipping cream on tops of scones and sprinkle with sugar.

To bake scones (wedge-shaped or round):

While scones are chilling, position oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Bake scones (either wedge-shaped or round shapes) 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 cream or English double cream and a favorite jam or fruit curd. Or, simply enjoy with a good slather of butter on the scones.

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

Scones with Curd and Double Cream
Cranberry Curd

If you have made this recipe and enjoyed it and/or wish to share it with your friends and family, please do so on social media but be sure to share the direct link to this posting from my website.

Cranberry and Lemon Scones

Serve these delightful Cranberry and Lemon Scones warm with a favorite jam or fruit curd and, of course, a fine pot of tea.
Course Afternoon Tea, Scones
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword cranberries, cranberry and lemon scones, cranberry scones, Scones
Servings 12
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen) – very small cranberries may be left whole
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/16 tsp cardamom
  • 1/3 cup cold unsalted* butter, chopped into ½“ cubes
  • tsp finely grated lemon 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. Coarsely chop large cranberries into 2-3 pieces each. Small cranberries may be left whole. Measure ¾ cup of cranberries after chopping.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In large bowl, sieve or sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom 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 here and there 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 lemon zest. 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. Gently press about one-quarter of the cranberries into the dough. Continue with the fold-over process and pressing more of the cranberries into the dough each time. Do this 3-4 times, taking care not to overhandle or overwork the dough. Shape dough loosely into a circular shape.

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. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Remove scones from refrigerator and, 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. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Remove scones from refrigerator and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the reserved whipping cream on tops of scones and sprinkle with sugar.

To bake scones (wedge-shaped or round):

  1. While scones are chilling, position oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Bake scones (either wedge-shaped or round shapes) 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

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

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

*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.

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You may also enjoy these other scone recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen:

Currant and Orange Scones
Panettone Scones
Gluten-free Scones

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Christmas Scones
Cranberry and Lemon Scones