Orange Raisin Scones; sugar encrusted quick-breads, studded with raisins and flavoured with sweet citrus zest.
I couldn’t wait until later in the week to post the recipe for these tasty treats.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I associate certain foods with special people in my life. Whenever I think about, see or make Scones I think of my grandparents especially my Nan (Grandmother). Her and Grandad would often have a sugary topped fruit scone, sliced and slathered with butter and/or jam / golden syrup along with their mid-morning cup of tea or afternoon tea and dare I say on some days it would be with both.
Nan did make her own Scones when my sister and I were young girls and I clearly remember her letting us help, once or twice. As we got older, her health and with it her interest in the kitchen, diminished.
Her Scones never included citrus zest, she was a purist when it came to ‘British food’ and I don’t think she would’ve minded if I told you she was unadventurous at trying unfamiliar food, such as pasta, yes pasta!
Orange Raisin Scones
My Orange Raisin Scones adapted from Paul Hollywood’s recipe for plain scones that include, not only butter and milk to enrich the scone mixture, but eggs too. He also uses bread flour, but I’ve used plain / all-purpose. I think the reason for using bread flour, is that it contains more gluten than plain all-purpose therefore, as bread flour scones rise in the oven, technically they should hold their shape better / rise straighter.
You can use either flour in this recipe, but to compensate you may need to increase the amount of milk slightly when using bread flour. The original recipe says to use up to one cup of milk to bring the scone mixture together, I only used just over half a cup – 150ml.
I’ve also changed Paul’s recipe in the following ways;
- Adding in the zest of 1 large orange for some sweet citrus flavour and a 100 grams of raisins for extra sweetness and textural difference.
- Sprinkling the egg-glazed scone tops with Demerara sugar before baking, again for textural difference because no one ever said no to sweet crunchiness.
- Using unrefined golden caster sugar instead of white.
- Mixing the baking powder into the flour before rubbing in the butter and orange zest
- Flattening the scone mixture to 2cm not 2.5cm and using a 78mm round cutter = 9 scones instead of 8 (NO BIG DEAL)
Not all went along swimmingly as you may have noticed, you know how if you coat dry fruit in flour before adding into cakes it stops it from sinking? well, I thought I was being clever by waiting until I’d brought the mixture together before folding in my ‘floured’ raisins. Only to find that once I’d baked the scones, the flour that was coating the raisins before folding them into the mix, was still coating most of the raisins after the scones had baked! thus, I suggest you stir the raisins in along with the sugar = no floury raisins.
A sightly warm, still fresh from the oven Scone, sliced, slathered in butter and jam (or condiment of your choice) on an almost spring day (ok Google says it’s the first day of spring – cartwheels!), right now I can’t think of anything better.
My kids really loved these, which pleasantly surprised me. Yesterday, we enjoyed Scones with butter and apricot preserves and this morning with honey.
You can get really fancy and use clotted cream instead of butter, for a Cream tea which is traditionally served in the afternoon.
Orange Raisin Scones
- 500 grams plain flour (or bread flour), divided
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- 80 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- zest of 1 large orange
- 80 grams unrefined ‘golden’ caster sugar
- 100 grams raisins (unsulphured)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 150ml* milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- Demerara sugar
- jam or preserves
- butter or clotted cream
- Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan assisted)/425F/Gas 7.
- Lightly grease 2 baking trays with butter and line with baking paper.
- Put 450g/15½oz of the flour into a large bowl, stir in the baking powder until thoroughly incorporated. Add the butter and orange zest. Rub the flour and butter together with your fingers to create a breadcrumb-like mixture.
- Stir in the sugar and raisins. Make a well in centre of the flour mixture add the eggs and milk, use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to turn the mixture gently. Make sure you mix all the way down to the bottom, add more milk if needed and bring everything together to form a very soft dough.
- Sprinkle most of the remaining flour onto a clean work surface.Tip the soft dough out onto the work surface and sprinkle the rest of the flour on top.
- Use your hands to fold the dough in half, then turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. By folding and turning the mixture in this way, you incorporate the last of the flour and add air. Do this a few times until you’ve formed a smooth dough. Be careful not to overwork your dough.
- Next, pat the dough with your hands until it’s about 2cm thick.Using a 78mm pastry cutter, stamp out rounds from the pastry and place them onto the baking tray. Dip the edge of the pastry cutter in flour to make it easier to cut out the scones without them sticking. Don’t twist the cutter – just press firmly, then lift it up and push the dough out.
- Once you’ve cut 5 or 6 rounds you can re-work and re-pat the dough to make it easier to cut out the remaining rounds.
- Place the scones on the baking tray and leave them to rest for a few minutes to let the baking powder work. Then use a pastry brush to glaze them with the beaten egg mixture. Be careful to keep the glaze on the top of the scones. (If it runs down the sides it will stop them rising evenly.). Sprinkle glazed scone tops with demerara sugar.
- Bake the scones (one tray at a time) in the middle of the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the scones are risen and golden-brown. Leave the scones to cool, then split in half and add butter, jam and clotted cream to serve.
*you may need more milk depending on your flour.