It’s officially Autumn, the season of harvest, the season of costumes and nutmeg, apples and pumpkins. The air is so crisp, one can’t help but take long walks, lingering outdoors as long as possible to draw in the fresh air. The winds pick up, until jackets are dusted off and adorned. Umbrellas and rain boots appear. The festivity has it’s own simplicity – even though it’s technically not celebrated. To that point, there’s something comforting and refreshing about brunch on a rainy Sunday morning in Fall. Nothing starts that off better than fresh baked scones.
In standard format, I have modified the recipe slightly to suit my taste. These are quick to make and bake, and they taste great any time of day, but especially with a cafe au lait or a latte, at breakfast, brunch or high tea. Adapted from the Fields of Greens Cookbook by Annie Somerville, the recipe is also used to make scones for the San Francisco favorite, Greens Restaurant. Enjoy!
- 1/2 cup golden raisins (replaced with 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries and 1/4 cup raisins)
- zest of 1 orange
- 3-4 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
- 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour (replaced with 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 lb cold unsalted butter
- 1 + 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (used low fat buttermilk)
- 1 egg yolk (optional)
- 2 tablespoons milk (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. First zest the orange and set the zest aside. Squeeze 3-4 tablespoons of fresh orange juice and pour over the 1/2 cup of dried fruit (raisins + cherries). Leave to plump up.
Sift the dry ingredients together. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to dry ingredients. Then use your hands to break up the butter into the dry mixture, rolling it through your hands until it resembles coarse meal. Add the oats, dried fruit and juice, stirring with a fork. Add the zest to the buttermilk and then add to the dry mixture, stirring until it gathers into a ball. Do not overmix.
Then, using your hands, pull the dough out onto a floured board or countertop and shape into a large round circle about 1 inch high. Don’t overwork the dough, it will be formed but flaky. Cut the circle into 8 wedges and place each wedge about an inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Optional: Whisk the egg yolk and milk together and brush on top of the 8 wedges.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the scones are shiny (if brushed with the egg wash) and lightly browned. Serve with jam and butter and savor 🙂