Fresh Orange Scones
Scones are one of my favorite recipes to make - it is so satisfying to watch the dough come together, make the scones take shape, and then come out of the oven, all hot and light golden brown.
The key to light, fluffy scones is to make a loose dough that seems almost to fall apart, and to handle it as gently and lightly as possible.
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2 cups all purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup whole milk
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg
Zest of 2 oranges
1 tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice
¼ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
¼ cup granulated Sugar
¼ cup powdered Sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until it resembles large crumbs, then press the large crumbs between your fingers to flatten them, without crumbling them too much (this flattening of the butter helps create flaky layers). Toss in the orange zest until well mixed. Set the bowl aside.
Combine the milk, sour cream, and egg, and beat them lightly until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cream mixture into the flour mixture until it forms a soft, shaggy dough. Turn the dough out on to a generously floured countertop.
Flour your hands and gently press the dough into a rectangle, about 12” x 9”.
Gently fold this rectangle into thirds, bringing one end about ⅔ of the way to the other end, and then fold the other end over it. Rotate the dough 90°, and gently press it, again, into a 12”x9” rectangle. Repeat the folding sequence once more, and then gently press the dough into a final rough rectangle, about 1” thick.
Flour a long, straight edged utensil, and use it to cut the dough into equal sized triangles.
Gently place the triangles, 1” apart, on the parchment-lone baking sheet. Beat together the 1 egg and 1 tbsp orange juice until well combined, and lightly brush it on the top of each scone.
Place the scones in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, just until the tops begin to turn a light golden brown. Don’t overbake them! Even just a couple of minutes too long leaves them dry.
While the scones are in the oven, combine the orange juice and granulated sugar, and heat them together until the sugar dissolves. As soon as the scones come out of the oven, brush them with the glaze. It is important to do this while they are still hot. After glazing, allow the scones to cool completely on the pan.
While the scones are cooling, , make the orange icing. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and the remaining orange glaze by slowly drizzling the glaze into the powdered sugar, mixing just until it turns into a thick paste. Make sure to add the glaze a little at a time, because it won’t take very much.
When the scones are cooled, gently lift each from the parchment paper to unstick it, and put it back in place (this is so it is easier to move them after they are iced). Drizzle the icing over each scone, in your desired fashion- I prefer a zig-zag pattern. Allow the icing to set for a few minutes before serving.
Note: If you are not serving the scones immediately, store them in an airtight container, WITHOUT icing them. Ice them immediately before serving them, otherwise the icing will melt into or off of the scones while in the container.