Cream-Currant Scones with Quick Strawberry Jam
Tender currant-studded scones are made all the more decadent when slathered with fresh homemade jam. This small-batch recipe for sweet strawberry jam does not require any arduous canning, as long as it is kept refrigerated and eaten within a few weeks. With scones like these around, finishing the jam will not be a problem.
For the strawberry jam:
- 4 cups (1 lb./500 g) strawberries, stemmed, cored and sliced
- 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
For the scones:
- 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbs. sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus room temperature butter for serving
- 1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) dried currants
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
To make the jam, place a saucer in the freezer to chill. Have ready a small stainless steel bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water. In a saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the berries are tender and the juices thicken, about 10 minutes. To test, remove the chilled saucer from the freezer. Spoon about 1 tsp. of the strawberry liquid onto the saucer and let stand for 15 seconds. If the liquid thickens to a jam-like consistency, then the jam is ready. If not, cook for a minute or two longer. Transfer to the reserved stainless steel bowl set in the bowl of ice water and let stand until cooled and thickened.
Meanwhile, make the scones. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the 8 Tbs. butter into the flour mixture just until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Stir in the curants. Pour the cream over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork or rubber spatula just until combined.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using floured hands, pat out into a round about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Using a 3-inch (7.5-cm) biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds of the dough as possible. Gather up the scraps, knead briefly, and continue patting and cutting out to make 8 scones. Place 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the scones until golden brown, 17 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the strawberry jam and butter on the side. Makes 8 scones.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers (Weldon Owen, 2011)