DigsMagazine.com make your stomach happy  .




a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


editor's note 

o lounge 
o nourish 
o host

o send an ECARD

submit your ideas
support digs


got a food question? jump to the boards
looking for more recipe ideas? check out the recipe index!


copyright 1999-2004


by Yee-Fan Sun

I never used to love scones. This was because the only ones I'd had were the sort that had been sitting in the bakery case all day, getting progressively drier by the second, just waiting for me to come along and pick one up because for some reason, I liked the idea of scones even if the actual taste didn't do a whole lot for me. I liked the Englishness of it; the scone seemed like the perfect accompaniment to a cup of Earl Grey, in my mind at least, and so I'd occasionally buy one, conveniently going amnesiac about the fact that I really didn't particularly like them.

But at a friend's house one day, I had my first homemade scone. It was moist, it was tender, it was flavored with lovely little apricot bits, it was hot from the oven. It was so surprisingly not-dry that I didn't even need any liquid to help me choke it down. Who knew that a scone could actually taste good?

Since then, I've made my own scrumptious scones using a recipe that I adapted from one of my favorite baking books, Baking with Julia. This version is super easy, and can be made from ingredients that your average quasi-adult generally already has lying around the pantry (so, none of the traditional buttermilk, although you can sub that for the soured milk if you like). These scones freeze beautifully, so I'll often have them on hand in the freezer for whenever the mood strikes. And now I'll never have to endure a store-bought cardboard-dry scone again.

1 cups flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsps baking powder
tsp baking soda
stick (6 Tbsp.) butter, cut into small chunks and kept cold
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice
2 tsps. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. butter, melted, for brushing
sugar for dusting

optional: 2 Tbsp. or so of whatever diced or small dried fruit suits your fancy -- raisins, currants, dried apricots, dried cranberries, etc.

time 15-20 minutes prep, plus 10 minutes baking
yields 6 scones

1 Preheat the oven to 425F. Stir the vinegar/lemon juice into the milk and let it sour (it'll curdle a bit -- this is what it's supposed to do).
2 In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda with a fork. Add the cold butter bits, then use your fingertips to quickly work the butter into the flour, smushing and rubbing and dropping the bits just until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. It's okay if you have a few small buttery chunks -- they help produce a nice flaky texture. If you don't like getting too up close and personal with your cooking, you can also use a pastry blender or pretty much any other pie crust-making technique you happen to know.
3 Pour in the soured milk and throw in the zest (if you're using the dried fruit, through that in as well); mix it all up with a fork until the ingredients are just moistened. The dough will be soft, moist, and a bit lumpy; don't overmix, or your scones will end up unappetizingly leaden. Gather the dough into a ball, pressing it together gently, and transfer to a lightly floured surface.
4 Roll the dough into a 7" circle, about " or so thick. Brush the dough with melted butter, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut the circle into 6 wedges, and transfer to an ungreased baking sheet.
5 Bake for 10 minutes or so, until the tops are golden. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool a bit, and serve warm. If you're not going to eat them all that day, wrap the extra scones in foil, toss in a plastic bag, and freeze. Defrost at room temp, then unwrap and reheat for 5 min in a 350F oven. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea or coffee.


---------------------------> lounge . nourish . host . laze . home.