It’s the in-between season for veggies and especially fruits, so using fresh in-season produce in baked goods is a little more difficult right now.
Enter the cranberry orange scone, a lightly-sweet pastry dotted with sweetened dried cranberries, and infused with both orange zest and orange juice to give it extra citrus flavor. They’re a nice alternative to the nut-based scones I tend to make during the colder months, and just as easy.
You can add white chocolate chips or a white chocolate drizzle if you prefer a sweeter scone, but I like mine unadorned and very lightly sweetened with honey so the orange has a chance to shine.
That’s enough jabber. Go make scones.
Cranberry Orange Scones
You can sub in ¼ c granulated sugar for the honey - just add it in with the flour instead of the wet ingredients.
you will need:
- 2 c all-purpose flour (you can sub up to 1 c wheat flour), plus more for sprinkling
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2-3 tbsp honey, plus more for brushing
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 5 tbsp cold salted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ⅓-½ c dried cranberries
- zest and juice of 1 large orange (about ¼ c of juice)
- ¼-½ c buttermilk or sour milk, plus 1-2 tbsp for brushing
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or two forks until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. You can also do this step in the food processor, with 3-4 pulses. Mix in the dried cranberries and orange zest. (You can also mix in the cranberries at the end of Step 3, but I find I’m able to get a better distribution if I do it before the wet ingredients are added.)
- In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, measure out the juice of your orange, then add enough buttermilk to equal ½ cup. Whisk the egg and honey with the buttermilk-orange juice mixture, then fold into the flour mixture enough to get a solid, fairly sticky dough, adding milk a little bit more at a time as needed to achieve this consistency.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured countertop, sprinkle the dough with flour, and lightly knead the dough until it just comes together. (It’s more of a cross between patting and kneading.) Pat it into a circle about 10 inches diameter and 1 ½ inches thick. Cut the dough into eight equal wedges.
- Transfer each wedge to the prepared baking sheet, spacing each wedge about 2 inches apart. Brush the tops of the wedges with additional buttermilk, mixed with honey if you wish.
- Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack, allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the scones to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.