buttermilk scones

from epicurious

These I tried when Fanjul and I had a half-cup buttermilk, no vanilla, no cake flour (but normal flour), no brown sugar (but cane sugar from his family's estate!) and no cherries (but the zest of a honeybell orange!). They are fucking amazing, better even perhaps than the orange-currant scones I recently thought trumped them all. In short: amazing no matter how you slice it. Especially if they're on a big orange plate!

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk plus 1/4 cup for brushing the scones
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 cup dried sour cherries (available at specialty foods shops)
  • granulated sugar for sprinkling

In a bowl whisk together 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, the egg, the brown sugar, and the vanilla until the mixture is combined well.

In another bowl stir together the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt and blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the cherries and the buttermilk mixture with a fork until the mixture just forms a sticky but manageable dough.

Knead the dough gently for 30 seconds on a lightly floured surface, pat it into a 3/4-inch-thick round, and cut it into 8 wedges. On an ungreased baking sheet brush the wedges with the remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk and sprinkle them with the granulated sugar. Bake the scones in the middle of a preheated 400F. oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are golden.

Makes 8 scones.

March 1990
The Last Touch: Scones