So your invitation to the royal wedding got lost in the mail, too? Don't fret. Live coverage of the Friday nuptials is to commence in the wee morning hours for most of the U.S., which is a fine time to settle in front of the telly with a basketful of freshly baked scones.
Really. Traditional British cream scones come together in minutes (you can even measure the ingredients the night before). They bake in the time it will take an attendant to fasten all the buttons on Kate Middleton’s gown.
Successful scones are the essence of simplicity, relying on two important concepts: One, thoroughly whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to avoid any pockets of bitter baking powder once baked. And two, stir in the cream until everything is well-moistened, but don’t overmix.
A final note: The word “scone” does not rhyme with “lone” but with “gone,” which is what these quick breads will be before you know it.
Cream Scones With Currants
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup currants (or other dried fruit)
1-1/3 cups heavy cream
Milk for brushing
Decorative, or sparkling, sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in currants until evenly distributed. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the cream. Stir until everything is moistened and a soft dough is formed.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead a few times, shaping it into a fat log about 8 inches long. Cut in two, then gently shape each half into a smooth disk about 1 inch thick. With a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut each disk into four pieces.
Arrange the 8 scones on the baking sheet, leaving as much room as possible between them. Brush with milk, then sprinkle with sugar.
Place in the oven and bake for 7 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 15 minutes longer. Let cool a bit on a wire rack, then serve.