While staying with my aunt and uncle, I made several batches of scones in a quest to create a new recipe. The first batch were wonderful and buttery, but almost more like shortbread than a scone. They quickly disappeared along with the homemade meyer lemon curd. Among others I tried were lemon buttermilk, lemon currant, and Apricot Cream. Although none of them were bad, these apricot cream scones were by far my favorite!
The first time I ate a scone was in London. I was 14 years old and my highschool English teacher had organized a trip to England for students. I was lucky enough to have a grandmother who felt that it was an experience I shouldn’t miss! I have many fond memories of that trip but very few that are food-related. Of the food I mostly remember breakfasts of extremely sour orange juice and rolls hard enough to break a tooth. I think we spent more time throwing the rolls at each other than actually trying to eat them (we were only 14, remember). I remember fast food lunches and warm sodas served without ice. But there is one food memory that stands out. I ordered a scone from a street vendor and I don’t know whether it was the taste of the scone or the inch-thick layer of butter squeezed between the two pieces, but it was love at first bite!
Scones have definitely been gaining in popularity in the states over the last several years. Just pop into any corner coffee shop and you’re sure to find an interesting selection. But my favorite place to eat scones (other than in my own kitchen), is the Cup and Saucer Cafe in Portland, OR. It’s been years since I’ve lived in Portland but I still crave the breakfasts served in that cramped little cafe with the mismatched tables and chairs and the line of people out the door. They serve fresh-baked scones along with many of their breakfasts and each table comes with a squeeze bottle filled with raspberry jam. It’s heaven.
Well here’s the recipe for my own Apricot Cream Scones. Make sure to have plenty of softened butter on hand because it’s almost a crime to eat a scone without it!
Apricot Cream Scones
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 C. sugar
6 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 C. chopped dried apricots
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 t. vanilla extract
heavy cream for brushing (optional)
coarse ground sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, cream and vanilla; set aside.
- Rub butter mixture into the flour mixture with your fingers (or use a pastry blender) until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the apricot pieces.
- Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture all at once and stir until moistened (The mixture should hold together when pinched).
- Dump the mixture out onto the counter, gather all the pieces together with your hands and press everything together to form a rough ball. Pat it into a circle, about 3/4 inch thick.
- Cut the circle like a pie into 8 pieces and place pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Brush scones with a little cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar (optional)
- Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.