Scones are a great "to go" breakfast food. I make a batch at least twice a month, and they are a favorite of my husband's to take on his way to work. Years ago we bought the cookbook Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville. It has a great basic recipe for Oatmeal-Raisin scones. I like to change it up from time to time, substituting different fresh or dried fruit for the raisins, such as dried apricots or currants or fresh blueberries. I've even usedfruit jams or jellies as well. Instead of the unbleached white flour called for in the original recipe, I've used regular whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour. I'm currently using white whole wheat flour, a lighter textured and milder tasting whole grain flour.
I like to make these scones by hand because it gives them a softer texture than when I've used a mixer or food processor. It's simpler and I enjoy the slower process, because it feels like I'm crafting an edible piece of art.
We had some sweet cranberry relish from Central Market leftover from the holidays, and my husband tried a little on pancakes I'd made. That inspired me to think of how else I could use the relish. Below is the recipe for Cranberry Oatmeal scones, keeping the flavors of the season around just a little longer.
Cranberry Oatmeal Scones
(adapted from the cookbook Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville)
1/2 cup cranberry relish
zest of one orange
*3 to 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice* (I left this ingredient out because the relish had enough liquid of its own, but include it if you use dried fruit, as you will need to rehydrate it in the orange juice for several minutes)
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Measure and sift the dry ingredients together. *(Add this next step if using dried fruit-Soak the dried fruit in the orange juice).* Add the butter, cut into small pieces, to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or your hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse meal. Add the oatmeal and cranberry relish, stirring to mix thoroughly. Stir the orange zest into the buttermilk and add both to the dry mixture, stirring until everything comes together into a ball.
Scoop the dough out onto a floured surface. Gently shape into an 8 inch round. Mix the egg yolk and milk together and brush the egg wash over the round. Cut the round into 8 wedges. Brush the remaining egg wash on the cut sides of the scones. Place the scones about 1 inch apart on a doubled baking sheet (2 sheets stacked together to keep the bottom of the scones from burning) lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the scones are slightly browned on top.
Makes 8 scones