Orange & cranberry scones with sticky cranberry jam
These light, fluffy scones are amazingly quick and easy to make using a minimum of utensils – and blimey, they are beautiful! With every bite you’re hit with the gorgeous flavour of fresh oranges and delicious little chewy bites of tangy cranberry. This recipe couldn’t be simpler – one mixing bowl is all you need. The trick is to handle the dough as little as possible. The more you mix, prod and knead the dough, the tougher the scones will be. For the softest, lightest scones that melt in your mouth, you only want only the bare minimum of handling.
3 cups self-raising flour
1 cup full cream
1 cup standard lemonade
50g butter, melted
4 oranges (organic if your budget permits)
2 tsp vanilla paste or essence
1 ½ cups dried cranberries (I used a 150g bag of Craisins)
Sticky cranberry jam
1 x 275g jar cranberry sauce (I used Ocean Spray)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup juice from the oranges
¼ tsp mixed spice
1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 200c conventional bake and line one large (or 2 smaller) baking trays with baking paper. Set the oven racks in the middle of the oven.
Wash the oranges under hot water. Zest them and mix the zest in a small bowl with the Craisins. Juice the oranges so you have about ¼ a cup, and keep for the jam later.
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a large well in the centre with your fingers. Pour the cream, lemonade and melted butter into the well. Add the Craisins, vanilla and orange zest (scrape all the zest out with a spatula), then use a butter knife to gently stir the mixture in circles until it comes together to form a rough, wet dough. It doesn’t need to be perfectly mixed yet.
Lightly dust a clean benchtop with flour and tip the dough out on to it. Flour your hands and very gently knead the dough a few times so it just comes together into into a smooth dough. Press down to in to a circle about 3-4cm high.
Use a cutter about 6-7cm to cut circles from the dough (or cut with a sharp knife). Try and cut straight down to get as clean a cut as possible – don’t swivel it sideways or mess up the sides too much, as this can affect the way the scones rise. I find it helps to run the cutter (or knife) under hot water before each cut.
Place the scones 4cm apart the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 16 minutes until just turning golden on top. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cool with lashings of cream (or butter, mascarpone, crème fraîche) and the sticky cranberry jam (see below).
Store in an airtight container once cooled. After a day, they need a quick zap in the microwave before eating.
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes over a medium-low heat until thick and jammy (it will thicken more as it cools).