Spiced Scones with Tea-Soaked California Raisins
By Hanna Sheinin, Fifth Place Celebrating Scones with Pastry Chicago
Plump raisins in flavorful tea and spice liberally for a great scone!
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 individual bags citrus-flavored black tea
- 1-1/2 cup (8 ounces) Zante currants or California raisins
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried lemon peel
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar; for sprinkling
Heat 1/2 cup water to boiling; add teabags and let stand until very strong and cooled slightly. Measure raisins into small bowl; pour warm tea over and let stand several hours or until tea is all absorbed. Chop raisins* and store in freezer overnight. Also, store butter in freezer overnight. Then, fold butter wrappers up to use as holders as you go, and grate 1 whole stick and 1/2 stick through large holes of box grater to make 3/4 cup grated butter; return to freezer until needed. Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; mix in fresh lemon zest and return to refrigerator until needed.
Measure flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and dried lemon peel into medium bowl and whisk together. Add frozen grated butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated. Make well in center and add milk mixture; fold together with rubber spatula just until combined. Transfer dough to liberally floured work surface; dust surface of dough with flour, and, with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times until it just holds together in a ragged ball. Then, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking, flatten or roll dough into 12-inch square. Fold into thirds, and fold into thirds again to make a 4-inch square. Dust dough with flour and transfer to lightly floured plate; chill in freezer for 5 minutes.
Turn chilled dough onto floured work surface and, again, roll into a 12-inch square. Chop and sprinkle raisins evenly over surface; press or roll raisins to embed in dough. Beginning at one side, roll dough tightly to form a log. With seam side down, flatten by hand or with rolling pin to 4 by 12-inches. Fold in thirds to make 4-inch square; transfer to parchment-lined 8-inch cake pan, and press down to evenly cover bottom of pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in freezer for at least 15 minutes*.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Then, with sharp, oiled knife, cut dough into 12 equal wedges. Transfer and arrange well separated on clean parchment-lined baking sheet; brush with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake at 425°F until golden, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Store any leftover or extra baked scones in an airtight container or wrap in foil and store in refrigerator or freezer. To serve, remove foil and place scones on baking sheet; reheat in oven at 375°F for 8 to 10 minutes until warmed through and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes for ones from refrigerator or 16 to 20 minutes for frozen.
1. For best results, use these products from Whole Foods Markets:
- Twinings® Lady Grey tea
- Plugrá European-style butter
- King Arthur all-purpose flour
- The Spice House dried lemon peel and ground spices
2. Do not chop Zante currants.
3. To prepare in advance: Arrange unbaked scones on baking sheet, and store in refrigerator or freezer overnight. Preheat oven to 425°F and bake refrigerated scones 18 to 25 minutes and for frozen scones, preheat oven to 375°F and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories 340 (47% from fat); Total Fat 18g (sat 11g, mono 5g, poly <1g, trans 0g ); Cholesterol 45mg; Protein 4g; Carbohydrate 42g; (Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 23g; ); Iron 2mg; Sodium 230mg; Calcium 63mg; Potassium 217mg
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