Well this is probably as close to a WHITE Christmas as we’re gonna get here in the Emerald City, but it wouldn’t be Christmas morning without Dried Fruit Cream Scones.
Everyone’s got cookbooks they keep on the shelf for just one recipe, (don’t they?) My tattered, broken-backed, well-loved copy of The Breakfast Book, by Marion Cunningham automatically falls open to pg 55. Marked with a satin ribbon from a distant celebration– baby blessing? Easter?–handwritten notes, spatters and a dusting of flour earmark this precious recipe as much a part of our family as… Well, that’s the thing. We don’t have many conventions in our household. I always say – The only Forkner tradition is we never do the same thing twice!
One especially rainy December, we packed turkey sandwiches and headed to the mountains Christmas morning, bound and determined to find a winter wonderland. Little did we know our vision quest would take us nearly 100 miles deep into the foothills on the far side of the Cascade range. My husband forgot his coat (yeah, I know… we’re going looking for snow. Who would think to bring a coat?) But the dog loved romping, the kids were troopers and the day turned out to be one of our most memorable holidays EV-ER! We even brought snowballs back and stored them in the kitchen freezer for the rest of that winter.
Another year, my daughter came down with a horrible flu on Christmas eve that put us out of our planned revelries. Late on Christmas, after a very quiet day, she rallied and we all decided to go out for Chinese food. I realize most of the world knows this is a huge holiday tradition. Us? Not so much. We were so surprised to find ourselves in the midst of a completely new (to us) round of festivities. I’ve been lobbying – HARD – for a reprise every year since then. So far, no takers.
But Dried Fruit Cream Scones are an exception…and a delicious, easy-to-whip-up-at-a moment’s-notice, warm, sugar-crunchy one at that. And they are a perennial Christmas morning ritual, in all their white-flour and cream goodness… It’s our own Homemade White Christmas. And now they can be yours as well.
The 12th day of Christmas for gardeners,
cooks and people who eat
Don’t judge the recipe as just another shortcut way to make “real” scones. You know, the ones where you have to “cut in” the flour with knives or your fingers. I hate cutting in flour. I’m not a big fan of getting my hands messy in the kitchen. I can wallow in dirt all day in the garden but butter, flour and cooking schmutz on my hands sends me to the sink every time. Really. I wash my hand about a 100 times every time I cook.
What was I saying? Oh yeah, the easy-peasy step of avoiding butter-cutting may have first attracted me to this recipe but it’s delicious, and superior flavor to all other versions (if I do say so myself) are what keep me coming back…and back… and back.
Dried Fruit Cream Scones
adapted from the recipe by Marion Cunningham, The Breakfast Book
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2-3/4 cup dried cranberries
zest of 1 orange (optional but delectable!)
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
3 T melted butter
preheat oven to 425*.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to blend. Fold in dried cranberries and zest to thoroughly coat with flour.
Add cream and gently stir to mix. Dough will be sticky and “shaggy” as they say.
Lightly flour the countertop and dump said shaggy dough out. Knead lightly just 3 or 4 times, or until the dough comes together in a mass. Pat, pat, pat into a circle about 10″ round. Cut into wedges and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Brush the top of each wedge with melted butter and sprinkle (heavily) with coarse sugar for a nice crunchy top. Bake for about 15 minutes or until beautifully golden and crusty.
NOTE: Amazing with Lemon/Pink Grapefruit Marmalade!!!
Merry Christmas everyone.