Cranberry Scones

It seems like over the holidays I’ve been on a scone kick. I made Herb Cheese Scones for Xmas day. Then this weekend I decided I’d make cranberry scones. This in part came about because when I went grocery shopping cranberries were on super sale. .40 for a bag. So it seemed like buying a bag was a good idea. The only trouble is I’m the only one at my house who likes cranberries. So what do you do when you have a bag of cranberries to use and your family doesn’t like cranberries? You make things with cranberries that you like which you can save for later. Scones it turned out were one of the things I decided to make.

When I searched the web for “cranberries and scones” I discovered that the vast majority of recipes used dried cranberries. Probably because these are available year round and easier to come by. I had fresh cranberries though and the dried ones typically have sugar on them so I was fairly sure a 1 to 1 ingredient replacement wouldn’t be a good idea. So I search the web for “fresh cranberries scones” and came up with some recipe possibilities. One interesting thing is that several of the recipes paired the cranberries with some form of citrus. Most commonly orange or lemon.

I ended up using a recipe that called for orange zest but I replace it with lemon zest and also added lemon extract. I also decided to sprinkle the top of my scones with turbinando sugar to give them a little more texture and sweetness. I guessed on how much sugar I wanted on the top and should have used a bit more than I chose. My scones were also too big because I cut 8 wedges instead of 10. I screwed up the geometry math when I made the first 2 cuts because cutting 10 pieces is really hard. The upside is that 1 scone is plenty for breakfast. The downside is that I ended up with fewer scones than I’d like.

Cranberry Lemon Scones

  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chilled buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 4 tablespoons turbinando sugar for top of scones
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and butter In a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. You may have to scrape the ingredients off the sides of the food processor as you do this to get everything to combine correctly.
  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add in cranberries, and lemon zest.
  4. Gradually add buttermilk and lemon extract. Stir until the mixture sticks together. It will still be somewhat crumbly.
  5. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead briefly to bind dough, about 4 turns. Form dough into 1-inch-thick round.
  6. Cut into 10 wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
  7. Sprinkle tops with turbinando sugar
  8. Bake until tops of scones are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let stand on baking sheet 10 minutes. Serve scones warm or at room temperature.


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