Sunday, January 15, 2012

orange scones: celebrating this season's citrus

I have really been into anything citrus, as I am every winter. Fresh oranges and grapefruit. Blood orange Italian soda. Orange olive oil tea cake.

Last night, despite the winter storm warning, A. and I went to a nearby Italian restaurant called Flour. It was full on a Saturday night, but we gladly sat at the bar - which almost always turns out to be a great decision. The main dining area feels more upscale, whereas the bar is more laid-back, and more characteristic of the the restaurant's tagline: "rustic Italian kitchen".

burrata appetizer with arugula, grilled radicchio, and crostini

We watched the pizza chefs bake maybe 30 or so thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas throughout our dinner. The pizza chefs were friendly and conversational, but not overly so - and helpful in answering any questions about the menu. Because of my citrus craving, I chose this amazing salad of shaved fennel, cara cara oranges, pea tendrils, pink peppercorns, dressed in a citrus (blood orange I think?) vinaigrette. The flavors were spot on. And for dessert, I ordered the winter citrus panna cotta topped with blood orange whipped cream. Absolutely delicious, creamy, but not cloyingly sweet.

winter citrus panna cotta, served in a canning jar

We enjoyed our dinner watching large snowflakes fall slowly outside the tall windows.

But back to the recipe... (how easily distracted I get)

Recently A. also had a craving for orange scones -- and of course I jumped at the chance to take a short break from work to make a batch. If it isn't obvious already, I'll take any excuse to be in the kitchen.

(Loving my "S" mug above - I didn't take my husband's last name after getting married [long story], but I can at least have a mug with the initial letter of his last name. :)

Orange Scones
makes about a dozen 

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour*
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour* (not regular whole wheat flour for bread)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
Zest of 1 1/2 to 2 oranges (you can probably just use the zest of 1 orange, but we like a more intense orange flavor)
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup orange juice - freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
1/4 cup plain, whole milk Greek yogurt (can sub sour cream)

Egg wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk or water

1. Position your oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest, and salt until everything is well-combined. Add the cold butter using a pastry cutter (or your hands, which I did - your hands are your best tools, after all!) and work the butter gently into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly with pea-sized chunks.
3. Stir together the orange juice and Greek yogurt in a small bowl, then add to the dough. Take care not to overmix the dough! Overmixing makes the gluten develop, resulting in tough scones.
4. Roll scones into a ball (about a quarter cup in amount) and place on the cookie sheets. You can also use a cookie scoop for more even portioning. Flatten slightly with your hand so that they become 2-inch rounds.
5. Whisk together the egg and milk and brush over the top of the scones. Let the scones rest for 10 minutes before baking.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are just lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool to room temperature before glazing.

Orange Glaze
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
In a small bowl, stir powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add more orange juice until it is smooth. Drizzle lightly over the cooled scones.

I love how moist and light these scones are. I've had my fair share of store-bought scones that felt as dry as cardboard and as hard as a rock - and since then scones had not been one of my favorite pastries - until this recipe! 

* You can also use 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour instead of the 2 kinds of flour.

Pin It!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...