You know what I love about a good scone? It works for breakfast or dessert. Now granted I don’t have a crazy sweet tooth so I’m never looking for pounds of chocolate or anything. Just something with a tiny bit of sweetness to it that’s rich and goes well with coffee or maybe a glass of milk.
And I’ll take this scone any day for either meal.
I used fresh figs for this batch but you could use dried figs if that’s all you can find. And also, I should get extra food blog props for this because the linen napkin I used in the first photo has actual figs on it. This is the kind of thing that can be attributed to nothing other than shear luck.
Yield: Makes 8-10 scones.
3 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
3/4 Cups sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 pound fresh figs (about 6) or 1/3 pound dried figs
3/4 Cup buttermilk, shake well
1/2 Cup cream
1/4 Cup maple syrup
2 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons cream or water
Raw sugar for sprinkling
1) Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in butter using your fingers or a fork until the butter is in pea-sized balls.
2) Cut your figs into 1/4 inch pieces (a bit smaller if you're using dried) and add your figs to the dry ingredients.
3) Whisk together all your liquids (cream, buttermilk, syrup) and then add all the liquids to the dry stuff.
4) Stir lightly until the batter is combined, but don't over mix.
5) Drop the batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper in 1/4 Cup rounds.
6) Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. The sugar is optional but it's a nice touch.
7) Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.
8) Cool for 10 minutes on a rack before eating.
Adapted from Gourmet Today.
Making the batter
The key to a good scone batter in my opinion is to not over-mix it. The more you stir it the more you mess up the air bubbles and stuff that are forming in the batter. So don’t go all OCD on the batter.
To start, mix your dry ingredients together and then cut in your butter until you have pea-sized pieces. I just use my clean fingers to mush the butter into the flour.
Once your butter is combined you’ll need some wet stuff. Buttermilk and real maple syrup give these scones incredible flavor. I don’t recommend substituting for either. In fact, if you’re going to use the fake syrup stuff just leave it out and sub the liquid with more cream.
I found these awesome black mission figs so that’s what I used. If you can’t find fresh figs, then by all means you can use dried figs for the recipe. Just dice them into slightly smaller pieces.
I think figs are very pretty.
Dice up your figs into chunks (not too small) and toss them in with your dry ingredients and butter. Why do you mix them in before the liquid you might wonder? Again it has to do with not over-mixing. Once you add the liquid you want to mix as little as possible. If you had to had the figs after, you’d have to mix too much.
Add all your liquids and then give the batter a good stir. A few good stirs should be enough to bring the batter together. Lumpy is fine!
These are free-form scones so just measure out about 1/4 of a cup (I just eyeballed it) and plop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Once all your scones are formed, brush them with some egg wash and sprinkle on some raw sugar.
Bake these at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown.
It’ll be hard, but let them cool for a few minutes before biting into them.
Like I said, not only did I eat these for brunch one day, but I also ate them for a nice dessert throughout the week. They were very moist and flaky and flavorful.
Of course, my one downfall with this dish is that even though my napkin has figs on it, I forgot to actually arrange it so you could clearly see the figs in the photo!