These scones are ideal for Christmas time, but equally lovely at any time of year. The orange and spice flavours are nicely seasonal while the crunchy walnuts and juicy cranberries give a great texture.
Makes: about 10 scones
Need: Just basic stuff: baking trays, cutter, bowls etc. but use your mixer if you like.
Time: 30 – 35 min hands on, then 10 – 16 min oven time + cooling
- 100ml/3½fl oz – 125ml/4½fl oz milk or buttermilk or a Greek yogurt/milk mixture
- 2 medium oranges
- ½ tsp orange extract/flavouring (optional)
- 500g/18oz self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- ½ tsp baking powder or bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp each: ground cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice or other Christmassy spices
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 140g/5oz butter, cubed
- 100g/3½oz caster sugar
- 100g/3½oz dried cranberries
- 100g/3½oz walnut pieces
- 2 eggs, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 210°C / Fan190°C / 410°F / Gas 6. Line two baking trays with parchment.
2. Measure out the milk (or buttermilk/yogurt) in a jug. Stir in the zest of one orange and set aside. Add in the orange extract (if using) Stir to mix and set aside briefly.
3. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl or the bowl of your food processor. Add in the salt, baking powder, spices and butter. Either rub in using finger tips or pulse briefly in the processor to create a breadcrumb texture.
4. Stir in the sugar, plus the juice and the zest of the second orange, then the cranberries and walnut pieces.
5. Add ¾ of the beaten egg mixture and then gradually add the milk. Mix to create a soft dough. You may not need all the milk.
6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly, then roll out to about 3cm – 4cm thickness. Stamp out using a 6cm round cutter. Place on the baking trays and brush the tops with the remaining egg.
7. Bake for 10 – 16 minutes or until well risen and golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool.
NB I know it probably goes against normal baking procedure, but I usually swap the two trays over midway through the baking time for an even bake. If you move sharpishly you can also brush on a second coating of egg wash – it makes a difference.