My love affair with scones began when I was a little girl. I would often pass up some of the more popular bakery treats for this slightly sweet, biscuit-like, star of the tea party . When topped with a bit of jam and Devonshire cream I was living the dream as only a young girl can. With a cup of sweetened tea and a scone I felt decidedly grown up…quite a thrill for a little kid.
Now that I have a daughter of my own it makes me smile to see her delight when I make a batch of fresh scones. Although she is nine, she would most definitely choose a warm, tender, scone over a frosted cupcake. Apparently our children inherit more than just a set of slightly crooked teeth.
With the holidays upon us, these Cranberry-Orange scones hit the mark with their classic combination of slightly sweet and tart flavors. Many scone recipes call for dried cranberries, but I think that the brightness of the fresh cranberries is essential to the success of this recipe. A bit of orange glaze on top or a dollop of jam and coconut cream turns these scones into a perfect holiday breakfast treat.
- 2 cups gluten-free flour mix (click here to see the one I use)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (I use Authentic Foods for a corn-free variety)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder (Hain brand or homemade for corn-free)
- 4 ounces (or 8 tablespoons) non-hydrogenated shortening, chilled (if you eat dairy, butter will work too)
- 1/2 cup cold unsweetened coconut milk (preferably full fat, not light)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cranberries ( I chopped mine by pulsing in the food processor)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup of additional coconut milk for brushing the tops of the scones before baking
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
→ In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, xanthan gum, and baking powder) to distribute evenly. Working with a fork or pastry cutter, work the chilled shortening into the dry ingredients until it is mostly pea-sized pieces.
→ Add the chilled coconut milk, eggs, cranberries and zest and stir for a minute or two or until you have a rough, sticky dough.
→ Grease a cutting board or a large piece of waxed paper with pan spray and turn the dough out onto it. Using lightly floured hands (I use a bit of extra gf flour mix) pat the dough into a large rectangle (about 9 by 12 inches). It will be just over a 1/2 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into a grid that yields 12 scones. Feel free to experiment and cut out alternate shapes, but adjust baking time for larger or smaller sizes.
→ Transfer the unbaked scones to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a (silpat). Place in fridge for one hour before baking or freezer for 30 minutes. If you want to make these the night before, chill them overnight on the baking sheet with a bit of plastic wrap over the top. The next morning let them sit out on the counter for 20-30 minutes before baking.
→ Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Mix the additional 1/4 cup of coconut milk with the 1 tablespoon of honey and brush the tops of the chilled scones with the mixture (to ensure a lovely golden brown color). Bake the scones on the middle rack of preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until the edges and tops are just beginning to turn golden.
→ Remove from the oven and cool scones on a wire rack. Top with the Fresh Orange Glaze (see below) and serve warm. After they are completely cool, these scones can be tightly wrapped and frozen for impromptu tea parties or quick breakfasts.
Fresh Orange Glaze
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar (I use corn-free powdered sugar)
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and juice together until smooth. *For extra orange flavor add a 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated orange zest.