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English Scones

English Scones
Serve these fine scones with strawberry jam or a berry butter. If you like, add no more than 1/2 cup chopped plumped dried apricots, whole raisins, chopped crystallized ginger or semisweet chocolate morsels to the dough just before kneading. Fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, or chopped walnuts or pecans are also good additions.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut
      into pieces
  • 3/4 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with solid vegetable shortening.

In a food processor, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, sugar and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and use on-off pulses until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl.

Alternatively, in a bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Then, using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk. Using a fork, mix together until a soft elastic dough forms.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead 5 or 6 times until the dough is smooth. Roll out about 3/4 inch thick. Using a scallop-edged cookie cutter 3 inches in diameter, cut out rounds. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the scones until they rise and are golden brown on top, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes 8 to 10 scones.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Brunch Entertaining, by Janeen Sarlin (Time-Life Books, 1999).