Irish Cream Scones

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Oven Temperature 400°F/200°C
Baking Time 15 to 20 minutes

Scones are like a cross between a pie crust with more liquid and a cake without eggs. My cherished friend and colleague Nancy Weber (writer, caterer, and Irish at heart) gave me this exceptional recipe from Paul Kelly, the award-winning executive pastry chef at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin. I had never before heard of making scones with all cream and no butter, but I loved the idea because cream has a floral quality that is lost when churned into butter. Of course the quality of the cream plays a big part in the flavor. Scones are delicious eaten still warm from the oven, but the moisture distributes most evenly if the scones are stored a minimum of four hours or overnight and then reheated.

Ingredients

Dough

VOLUME WEIGHT
Gold Medal bread flour (or half other brand bread flour/half unbleached all-purpose flour) 2⅓ cups (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) 10.6 ounces 300 grams
raisins ½ cup 2.5 ounces 72 grams
sugar 3 tablespoons 1.3 ounces 37 grams
baking powder (use only an aluminum free variety) 1 tablespoon 0.5 ounce 13.5 grams
fine sea salt teaspoon . 2.2 grams
lemon zest, finely grated 1 tablespoon, loosely packed . 6 grams
honey 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20 ml) 1 ounce 28 grams
heavy cream, cold 1⅓ cups plus ½ tablespoon (323 ml), divided 11.1 ounces 316 grams

Special Equipment

One 8 inch round cake pan | A baking sheet lined with parchment or lightly coated with baking spray with flour

Method

Preheat the Oven

Thirty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Make the Dough

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, raisins, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Make a well in the center and pour in the honey and 1⅓ cups of the cream. Using a silicone spatula, starting from the center, gradually stir the flour mixture into the cream until all of the flour is moistened. If dry particles still remain and, when pinched, the dough does not hold together, add the remaining cream.

Scrape the mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Gather it up and gently knead it into a soft dough.

Line the cake pan with plastic wrap and press the dough evenly into it or shape the dough into an 8 by ¾ inch thick disc. Press in any loose raisins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Shape the Scones

Lift out the scone disc using the plastic wrap. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 8 even wedges. Place the wedges, 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet. For the highest rise, but slightly less flakiness, press lightly against the sides of the dough with your finger to seal them slightly, which causes the scones to puff a bit more. (I know this is counterintuitive, but it really works!)

Bake the Scones

Bake for 8 minutes. For even baking, rotate the sheet halfway around. Continue baking for 7 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. (An instant-read thermometer should read 205° to 212°F/96° to 100°C.)

Cool the Scones

Place a linen or loose-weave towel on a large wire rack. Set the baking sheet on another wire rack. Use a pancake turner to transfer the scones to the towel. Fold the towel over loosely and let the scones cool until warm or room temperature.

Store

Airtight: room temperature, 2 days; frozen, 3 months.

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