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Spiced Fruit and Nut Scones

These flaky scones are packed full of flavour thanks to generous amounts of spices, nuts, and dried pears added to the mix. The dough freezes beautifully, so you can enjoy these delicious sweet treats throughout the autumn.

From the book

Cynthia Barcomi

Introduction

Ok, so these scones are a bit busy. Think of them as a symphony for your palate – the warmth of the spices, the delicate flaky texture, the surprising flavour of dried pears.

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Ingredients

300g (2 ¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
50g (¼ cup) Demerara (raw) sugar
3 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground turmeric
50g (1 ¾oz) crystallized ginger, finely chopped
100g (3 ½oz) dried pears or dried apricots, coarsley chopped
100g (1 cup) flaked (sliced) almonds or chopped pecans
150ml (½ cup plus 2 tbsp) double (heavy) cream, cold
1 egg
125g (1 stick) butter, cut up and cold
For topping
2 tbsp Demerara (raw) sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground turmeric

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Method

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), salt, turmeric and crystallized ginger. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the dried fruit with the nuts. Set aside.

Whisk together the cold cream and egg. Set aside.

Combine the sugar and spices for topping. Set aside.

Blend the cold butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the cold cream and egg just until a dough forms. Add the dried fruit and nuts. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface just until it comes together. Don’t overwork the dough.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 195°C fan (380°F/Gas 5) and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Shape the dough into a 20cm (8in) disc. Cut it into quarters, then cut each quarter in half again; giving you 8 ‘slices’. You can also pat the dough to about 2cm (3⁄4in) thickness and use a glass or a cookie cutter dipped in flour to cut the dough into 8 portions. Cut them close together and don’t re-roll out the dough.

Arrange the scones on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sugar/spice mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15–16 minutes, or until golden. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chill: The dough portions can be kept in the fridge, wrapped airtight, for up to 48 hours.

Freeze: Simply freeze the cut scone dough. Once frozen, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 6 months.

Bake from frozen: Preheat the oven as above and bake on a lined baking sheet for 16–17 minutes until golden.

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From the book: Batch Baking: Get-ahead Recipes for Cookies, Cakes, Breads and More

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