Lemon Cranberry Scones

Original recipe from Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads (2009) but it has been slightly modified here.

I thought that I would start to share some of my favourite recipes. Here is one for cranberry lemon scones. If you would rather savoury than sweet, it is easy to modify this recipe with other flavours by replacing the cranberries, lemon zest, and sugar topping. Here are some suggestions:
– caramelized onions and cooked bacon with shredded gruyere cheese on top
– caramelized onions and blue cheese with toasted pecans on top

These scones freeze really well. They can be a little labour intensive, so if I’m going to all the trouble, I always double the recipe.


Scone batter:
– 3 ¼ cup (400 grams) all purpose flour
– ¼ cup (56 grams) sugar
– 2 tbsp (24 grams) baking powder
– 2/3 cup (148 grams) salted butter – take the butter out of the fridge ahead of time, the softer it is, the easier it will be to work with
– 1 egg plus 1 egg white (save the 1 egg yolk for the topping)
– 1 cup (230 grams) buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, just take 1 cup regular milk and add 1 tbsp of lemon juice and let it sit for 10 minutes)

Tasty bits (easily replaced with savoury suggestions listed above):
– 1 cup dried cranberries
– zest from 1 lemon

– egg wash made from beating 1 egg yolk and 2 tbsp milk
– granulated sugar to sprinkle on top of scones

1. In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder
2. Slice the butter into cubes
3. Add butter to the flour mixture and use your fingers to rub the butter cubes into the flour. The butter should be no larger than the size of a pea.
4. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk
5. Make a depression in the flour and butter mixture and pour the liquid mixture into the hole.
6. Fold the two mixtures together slowly with a rubber spatula. This is the first trick to fluffy scones – don’t beat the mixture hard, you don’t want to toughen the dough by activating all the gluten in the flour.
7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
8. Add in your tasty bits – cranberries and lemon zest (or savoury ingredients) – and blend into the dough by hand by lightly kneading the dough. Do not overwork the dough!
9. When ready, roll out the dough with a rolling pin. The dough should be at least 1 ½ to 2 centimeters thick. Trick number two – only roll out the dough once. The more you handle the dough, the more it will toughen up.
10. Cut the dough with a butter knife into triangles. I cut it like a pizza – into large triangle pizza slices and then into smaller triangles. This way, you will use all the dough and not have any waste. I also think that the triangle shape is quite attractive for scones.
11. Place the cut scones onto a greased cookie sheet.
12. Let the scones sit for 20 minutes on the cookie sheet before baking. Trick number three – by letting the dough rest, the scones will turn out light.
13. Just before baking, brush the scones with the egg wash.
14. Sprinkle sugar (or cheese or pecans if you’re doing the savoury version) on top of the scones.
15. Bake in oven at 350˚F for 18 to 20 minutes. If they are slow to brown on top, I turn on the broil setting on my oven for a minute just to turn the tops a golden brown.
16. Let scones cool on a wire rack.

3 Responses to “Lemon Cranberry Scones”

  1. 1 Pamella June 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Can we have a picture the next time you bake them! Sounds delicious! My goal is to shift my culinary skills into high gear when I get home. Adding this recipe to my list!

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