Thursday, March 25, 2021

Hearty Date and Walnut Scones

The cream scones that I usually make when I want to do a nice tea, with accompanying lemon curd and whipped cream and jam, are light and delicate. I do love them, but sometimes I want something a bit more sturdy and scones that only need a bit of butter, or no accompanying bits at all because the flavors and textures are fine all by themselves. Last week was just such a time, so I made Date and Walnut Scones that also included whole wheat flour and some grated mandarin orange zest, plus a bit of orange extract. Even though they didn't have a lot of added fat, Sweetie ate his without any extra butter and declared them delicious just as they were, still warm from the oven.

It takes just a bit longer to chop up some dates and some walnuts, the grate the citrus zest and work it into the sugar, to paint the top of the scones right before putting them in the oven with some 1/2 and 1/2 and to finish with a sprinkle of sanding sugar, but all of those steps make these special.

Enjoy while still warm with a cup of tea or coffee and you will find your day just a little bit brighter.

Date and Walnut Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour or Irish whole meal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar 
grated zest of 1 mandarin orange
4 oz (1/2 stick) very cold butter cut into small pieces
1 egg
3/4 cup light cream (I used Silk soy creamer)
1 tablespoon mandarin or regular orange juice

¼ teaspoon orange extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup moist dried apricots, diced finely 
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped or broken 
1 tablespoon 1/2 and 1/2 or soy creamer 
sanding sugar 

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl work the orange zest into the sugar, then add that mixture to the bowl with the flour and whisk together. Stir in the diced butter, then, using clean fingers, rub the butter and flour together until the texture of bread crumbs. Work quickly to keep the butter cold. You can also use a pastry blender to cut in the butter.

In a large measuring cup, use the fork to stir the eggs to beat them lightly, then add the light cream, orange juice, and orange extract and stir to mix well.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually add the liquid ingredient mixture, mixing lightly with the fork, just until ingredients are barely combined. Do not over mix. If mixture seems to dry, add a few drops of milk; if too wet, add a tablespoon of flour. Finished mixture should be the consistency of moist biscuit dough.

Take a tablespoon of flour and use it to dust the diced dates, working to have all sides lightly coated with flour.

Again using the fork, gently stir the dates and walnuts into the dough, just enough to disperse them.

Turn dough out onto a baking parchment lined surface (or a Silpat mat). Pat dough out to about a 1 inch thickness. Pat into a rectangle or circle and cut with a lightly floured knife edge into eight pieces, then use the knife blade to  move the cut pieces apart. Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet. You could also use a Silpat mat, like I did. Just be careful when cutting so as to not cut the mat. Use a pastry brush to brush the 1/2 and 1/2 or soy creamer over the tops of each scone wedge and sprinkle lightly with sanding sugar.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Cool slightly in pan, then serve warm.  

1 comment :

  1. *rubs hands together with avarice*
    We have a tree full of VERY tasty yet sour tangerines and I've been batting around the idea of a tangerine curd. I can imagine it with something like this - a sturdy cream scone with maybe cranberries in it... yum...