This morning, my sister had a hankering for some scones. As I gathered the ingredients for an Orange Raisin Scones, my sister leaned on wall by the kitchen and remarked " Hmm, that might be a contraction". I was not falling for that! We had some false alarms along the way- only to be punctuated with a "No contraction at all" proclamation during yesterday's stress test. Turns out, it is the Real Thing this time. In honor of this event I am calling this scone -"Orange You Coming Sophie?" Scones - get it???
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 oz) butter, cut into little cubes
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, separated
grated rind of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
extra brown sugar for sprinkling on top
Set rack in middle of oven before preheating oven to 375F.
Put the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. Grate zest (rind) of orange directly into the bowl. Whisk together to combine ingredients. Set aside.
Put one cup of raisin in a bowl. Squeeze juice from zested orange into bowl of raisins. You can add some pulp if your like. Leave raisins to plump up.
Cut stick of butter into half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise again before cutting into cubes. Chill in refrigerator while waiting for raisins to plump and oven to heat up.
Into 3/4 cup of whole milk, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add separate yolk to milk mixture and stir together. Retain egg white for the wash.
Take the cubed butter out of the refrigerator and add to flour mixture. Rub butter into the flour until just small lumps of butter can still be seen and mixture is like coarse breadcrumbs.
Drain the plumped raisin and orange pulp, and add to the bowl, tossing to separate the raisins. Reserve soaking liquid if you want to add it as part of the liquid addition. Reduce milk mixture by 1/4 cup and add 1/4 soaking liquid.
Give the milk mixture a stir to combine. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring with a fork, just until a dough comes together.
Lightly dust the baking sheet with flour. Scrap dough in a rounded mound unto sheet. Shape into a rough circle. Lightly dust surface with flour. Flip dough to the other side. If necessary lightly dust surface with flour again if dough is too sticky. Gently pat into a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Brush dough circle with beaten egg white. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cut circle into 8 wedges. You can either leave them cut but not separated, or if you are like me, and like the cruch of crispy edges, gently separate the wedges by staggering them ( you leave one wedge in place, slide the next wedge out). This way you get a scone with plently of golden edges.
Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown. If scone wedges were not separated, you should re-cut the wedges and separate them before cooling on rack for 15 minutes.