I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to make many wonderful acquaintances during the short time I've been blogging.
One blog I've followed for quite some time before I started my own is a favorite; The Repressed Pastry Chef.
I've been so pleased to have had some delightful exchanges with Em, the creator of The Repressed Pastry Chef, if you're not familiar with her blog I hope you'll visit as I think you'll be as entertained as I am with Em's fabulous talent in the kitchen, as well as her keen sense of humor.
This recipe is a direct take on her recent post and recipe for Drunken (or not) Cherry Scones.
I am drawn to recipes in which you can swap out ingredients according to your own tastes (or what's in the pantry.) And this is one such recipe, adapted from Alton Brown.
I appreciate the convenience of making scones this way, as they are mixed in the food processor and require no rolling (a boon when you're in a hurry and don't want to mess with rolling or patting them out).
You can simply scoop them with an ice cream/food portion scoop. You will get lots of tender, crispy crumb edge (my favorite part.)
As Em explains, if you don't want to use a liqueur in your recipe, simply omit it.
I'm not sure I'll go back to the traditional way of making scones after trying this method.
I followed Em's recipe almost exactly; here's how I made mine:
Almost Any Fruit Scones with Liqueur
(Liqueur is optional)
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup cream
Handful dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)
For this version; finely grated zest of 1 orange
A few splashes of a liqueur that will compliment the fruit you are using; (Grand Marnier this time)
If you're omitting the liqueur you may want to add a little pure vanilla, almond or fruit extract
In a small bowl drizzle your fruit (this time dried cranberries) with liqueur (Grand Marnier) and allow to soak for about 10 minutes. After the fruit has softened a bit, smash the fruit so it will absorb even more flavoring. If you have the time allow to macerate for another 30 minutes or so.
Heat oven to 375°F
Line cookie sheet either with silicone baking mat or parchment paper
Place flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in the bowl of food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and shortening and pulse until about the size of oatmeal.
In a large measuring cup or small bowl, blend cream with the egg (a fork works well to mix), add the fruit and stir to blend. Add to the flour/butter mixture in the food processor and pulse until just mixed and dry flour has disappeared. (Best not to over process or your scones won't be tender.)
Spoon or scoop the dough into balls and place on cookie sheet. Press with your fingers to flatten slightly (wetting your fingers with water will help prevent sticking.)
At this point I brush tops of scones with additional cream and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar (but this step is not necessary, the scones will still be delicious.)
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.