Having a baking obsession means that I'm constantly engaging in a battle in my kitchen. That is, the battle to experiment and create the food and then quickly usher it out of my kitchen into someone else's arms before I sit down to a cup of tea and half a dozen scones or three triple chocolate muffins in a row (it happened and before I knew it, my face was covered in chocolate and I don't remember a thing).
Mr NQN gets some treats to take to work and when he takes them, I am always hopeful for some feedback. Because that feedback of course gets incorporated into the recipe. His previous office at the same company were good and I would receive lovely tweets from them but this is not the case with current group. As a result, when he arrives home from work I spring at him and ask, "So what did they think? Tell me everything! Did they hate it? Was there any left over?". Usually he will have no idea what I'm talking about and I'll have to remind him of the food item.
When I made these scones, I knew that they had to be out of my kitchen quickly. Mainly because the last time I made scones I couldn't stop eating them fresh from the oven. It is based on the pumpkin scone recipe which was inspired by my friend Maureen's biscuit recipe. I have been reading about the orange and cranberry pairing on lots of blogs and wasn't a pairing that I have tried very much before but I was reassured that the two fruit are magical together. These scones are shaped like triangles which is often how they serve scones in America. It's a bit easier than cutting out rounds and another thing that Americans do at times is ice their scones with frosting.
I made the scones just slightly sweet as I served them with honey butter. Honey is one of those things that I have in the pantry and I have a spoonful of it in my tea every morning. When it is combined with butter it adds so much flavour-think butter honey soaked crumpets with the sweet melted butter oozing through. These scones are best served on the day that they are made, otherwise just split them and freeze them for when you want to eat them. Or if you're like me, send them to friends or with your husband because they are dangerously delicious to have around.
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried the orange and cranberry flavour combo? Do you have a favourite flavour combo yourself? And when you bake or cook, what do you do with the extra food? Do you have a crowd to eat it all?
Orange & Cranberry Scones
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
Make 8 scones
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 cups plain all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons caster or superfine sugar
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 120g/4ozs cold butter, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup buttermilk*
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- finely grated zest of an orange (I used Valencia oranges which is why the zest isn't very orange)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange juice
- Butter and honey to serve
*To make quick buttermilk, add a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice to a cup of regular milk. It will curdle slightly but that's fine.
Step 1 - Soak cranberries for 10 minutes in the hot water and then drain well. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Step 2 - In a food processor whiz the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar together for a few seconds. Then add the butter cubes and process until you get fine crumbs. Empty this into a bowl and add the buttermilk, drained cranberries, orange juice and orange zest to the mixture and mix gently to combine. Pat into a ball and press down onto the prepared baking sheet into a round about an inch thick.
Step 3 - Take a pastry cutter or a butter knife and cut into 8 wedges, separating them on the sheet a little. Brush with egg yolk and bake for 15-20 minutes until the centre is cooked. Cool on a rack.
Step 4 - Mix the icing sugar and orange juice to make a quick icing and drizzle on top. Serve with butter and honey.