This weekend, the convergence of the dreams in my mind and reality landed squarely at flaky pastry. I had been longing for cranberry-orange scones, after eating a few tasty ones at wegmans. I decided that Ina would be my guide, and I would try them for myself. I got up Saturday, tied on an apron, and went to work. It came together beautifully, a symphony of butter and flecks of orange. Patted into disks, sliced into wedges, a sprinkling of sugar, and into the oven with all my hopes and dreams of what they could be. I was surprised how much they lived up to it! Tyler and I each selected one or two, a glass of milk and sat down in silence. I was a little worried that he didn't say anything for a little bit. I think Tyler could have died right then. He declared that they were the best baked goods I have ever made. Even better than those. yes, he's got high standards. Triumph!
Cranberry Orange Scones
from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home
makes 16 scones
*recipe updated with fresh cranberries
4 cups plus 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest (2 oranges) *I used one really big orange, got 2 1/2 t, used it all
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
4 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1 cup chopped frozen cranberries, mixed with a couple spoonfuls of sugar
1 egg beated with 2 tablespoons water, for egg wash
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups flour, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, the baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly add the to the flour and butter mixture. Mix a few turns, then start adding the cranberries until just mixed together.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it into a ball. Split that ball into two, and then pat each ball into a disk until they just under 1 inch thick. Flour a pizza cutter and slice each disk into 8 equal wedges. Place on the sheet pans, brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and bake for 20 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice and drizzle over the scones.
*Ina rolled the dough out and used a circle cutter to make neat little 3 inch scones, but I rather prefer the rustic triangle wedges (and it's less work). but either method works.