I like to give homemade treats to friends and family at holidays. After I divide everything into gift bags, sometimes there are leftovers for us. SCORE.
We are now in the middle of January and the caramels are gone, the biscotti finished a few days ago. The fruitcake will keep a while longer in the fridge. The only thing lingering on the counter is the candied citrus peel.
Do you ever get to that point after the holidays where your teeth ache just thinking about eating something sweet? That’s how I feel about the citrus peel. I don’t want to toss it because it’s still good, but I can’t bring myself to eat it, either. I love the tartness of the citrus combined with the sweetness of sugar, but in small quantities at a time. There was more in the tin than what I could eat and Professor Plum and Miss Scarlet are not fans.
So I made scones. Light, airy, citrusy scones flecked with bits of the citrus peel and golden raisins. Sunny enough to brighten up any dreary winter morning.
They would also be fantastic for a weekend morning breakfast served with a mimosa (or two, because once you pop a bottle of sparkly, you have to finish it, right) 😛
This recipe makes enough to let you try out lots of options.
I make my own candied citrus peel with orange and grapefruit, or you can buy it ready-made.
The peel, zest and raisins should soak overnight with a liquid. I used Grand Marnier, but any orange liqueur or even orange juice would work. You want to bring out the orange flavor and soften the raisins and peel so they incorporate easily into the batter.
You need both cake flour and regular flour. You can easily make your own cake flour if you don’t stock it. See the note in the recipe for the how-to.
I used skim milk for the liquid. Any milk or cream would do, depending on your preference. Buttermilk would be my choice for next time. It’s tang would complement the citrus perfectly.
Are you a roller or a patter, or maybe even a dropper? Choose whatever method works best for you. I have always shaped my scone batter into rounds and scored them into triangles. I prefer this to rolling because there is less handling of the dough. The amount of scones you end up with will depend on how you shape them. I ended up with 16 scones. The cookie sheet I used was large and the rounds ended up being quite close together. If you have standard size sheets, you might want to use two.
I did the egg wash and then sprinkled a packet of Sugar in the Raw turbinado sugar on the top. This resulted in nice browning and a light crunch.
The top browned before the interior fully cooked so I recommend using a cake tester to test for doneness.
Does my fancy schmancy cake tester look familiar?
Prof. P proclaimed them totally delicious, possibly the best yet. Give it a go and let me know what you think.
- 1/2 cup diced candied citrus peel
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liquid
- 2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup cold milk of choice
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg, separated
- sugar for sprinkling
- Combine citrus peel, orange zest, raisins and Grand Marnier in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine flours together in a large bowl. Add butter in small pieces using a pastry blender or your fingers. Blend until it resembles coarse meal. Add granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Continue working until everything is incorporated.
- Whisk together milk, 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk. Add half of milk mixture to flour. Incorporate gently with rubber scraper. Add remaining milk mixture and blend until just combined. Add the raisin mixture and gently stir until evenly distributed.
- Divide dough in half and place on two parchment lined cookie sheets. Pat into a circle and score into number of scones desired. Lightly beat remaining egg white and brush over the rounds. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Insert a cake tester into the middle of a round. It will come out clean when done. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
- Extra time is needed to soak the peel and raisins overnight.
- A substitute for cake flour can be made by measuring one cup of flour, removing 2 tablespoons from the cup and adding 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Sift together well, several times. Adjust for amount needed.