Believe it or not, I had never had a scone before today. I had no idea what I’d been missing.
This morning, Grace and I were out and about running some errands and while at a specialty fruit/deli market ordering pork fat to render lard we happened to walk past the bakery. There in the case they had several different kinds of scones as well as boxes of them on the shelves across from the counter. Grace commented how good they looked, really good, a clear hint that she wanted some.
Even at 18 coming right out and asking for some just isn’t going to happen, everything is a game. Fortunately for my pocketbook, my recent exploration for mixes in jars revealed several variations of scones, so rather than spend an exorbitant amount of money on store-bought scones, I promised Grace to come home and make one of the recipes I’ve been wanting to try.
It is overwhelming how many recipes there are out there for scones and scone mix for jars. The trouble is, the ones I liked all called for using shortening in the jar mix portion. Shortening is not something I use in my kitchen. I’m sure there might be an argument out there for using it, but when you take into consideration that it was originally used by auto mechanics to lube whatever it is they lube, I just can’t justify putting this in food that I am going to feed to my family. Anyway, for me, using butter or lard after the mix is poured into the mixing bowl is the route I plan to follow, so I will present the recipe with both options and this way each person can make their own decision as to how they want to make their mixes.
Today I chose a recipe for Blueberry Scones to start with for my first taste of scones. As usual, there were ingredients I didn’t have on hand, so I had to improvise. Also, I wanted to use dried cranberries as well as blueberries. In the end, the scones turned out really good.
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1/3 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
- 2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 Cup Dried Blueberries
- 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp. Pure Lemon Extract or 1 tsp. Dried Lemon Peel
- 1/3 Cup Softened Butter or Lard or if you prefer Shortening
- 1 Beaten Egg
- 1/4 Cup Water
Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Cut in butter, lard, or shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in dried berries. Add egg, extracts, and water, stirring until moistened. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until dough comes together. Pat dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 400 for 12 – 15 minutes.
The original recipe for this mix called for 1/3 cup vanilla sugar, which I did not have. I substituted the 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract and it worked out just fine.
To make a mix of this recipe, combine all the dry ingredients. I used pure lemon extract in my scones, but if you prefer to use dried lemon peel, this can be added to the dry ingredients. If you plan on using shortening, at this point you can cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Otherwise, put this step on the instruction tag attached to the jar. Mix in berries and put into quart jars or if you have them pint and a half jars. Seal jars. Attach a tag to read as follows:
Cran-Blueberry Scone Mix
Place contents of jar in large mixing bowl. Cut in 1/3 cup softened butter or lard with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (cut this out if you added shortening to the dry ingredients and sealed in your jar of mix). Add 1 beaten egg, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. pure lemon extract, and 1/4 cup water, stir until moistened. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until dough comes together. Pat dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 400 for 12 – 15 minutes.
What I really love about this recipe is that it is so versatile. By changing the flavor of the extract or the type of dried fruit you put in the mix, the possibilities are endless. Okay, endless is a bit of a stretch, but there are some great ones out there waiting to be explored, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.