Orange Scones (from the L.A. Times)
Total time: 1 hour, plus chilling and cooling times for the scones
Servings: Makes about 6 scones, depending on size
Note: Adapted from Sweetie Pies Bakery in Napa Valley.
1 2/3 cups (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups (5½ ounces) cake flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) cold butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup currants
2 tablespoons orange zest
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon orange juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
Into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Over low speed, add the butter cubes and mix just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 3 minutes.
Add the currants and orange zest, and mix just to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, half-and-half and orange juice. With the mixer running, slowly add the liquid ingredients until incorporated, careful not to over mix.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Press the mixture together to form a cohesive mass. Roll or press to a thickness of 1 inch and cut into desired shapes (scraps may be re-rolled one time and cut again).
Place the scones on a parchment (or sil-pad) lines baking sheet about 1 ½ inches apart, and cover and chill over night (or freeze for an hour). Shortly before baking pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Brush the scones with the heavy cream and sprinkle them with the turbinado sugar. Bake the scones until risen, the bottoms are browned and the tops are golden-brown in spots. 25 to 35 minutes,* depending on the oven. Rotate the scones halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.**
Remove the scones and cool on a wire rack.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, combine the sugar and butter. Mix, using the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, until the butter is softened and incorporated. With the mixer running, SLOWLY add the orange juice. Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until the frosting is just pourable.
Brush or drizzle the frosting over the scones.
Ours cooked in 30 minutes.
** We have a convection oven and so we did not need to rotate the scones.
Sandy's comments: The texture is very close to shortbread. It is interesting. There was almost no orange flavor in either the scones or the frosting. It wouldn't hurt to add some orange extract, which we will do the next time we make these.
They rose well and were very pretty to look at.
Further comments: After eating a whole one of these, we realized that they were VERY dry and rather tastless. They were not flaky - they were crumbly. So, a week later, I tried again. After long discussions with Rhiannon (a cook I respect very much); I added an additionl 4 tablespoons of butter (yes, FOUR); and 2 more tablespoons of milk. I also added a teaspoon of orange extract to the scones and one to the icing. Now the scones are flaky, and have much better taste. The icing is better, too. Next time I will increase the orange extract to 2 teaspoons in the scones. Oh, and I only put ONE tablespoon milk into the icing so that it would be thicker. These cooked in 25 minutes.