Saturday, November 6, 2010


It's Saturday morning. It's cold and gray and drizzly, and your daughter has a soccer game at 9. So you haul yourself out of bed a while before you really want to, and you make scones.
Fortunately, these scones 1) come together before the oven has preheated and 2) are really delicious. They're not exactly Power Bars, but at least Julia went off to her game with something warm in her stomach (and this cake) and the knowledge that while I'm not a good enough mother to accompany her to the soccer field (I turn into Deranged Soccer Mom within 50 meters of my offspring playing), I'm at least willing to get up and make something nice for breakfast.

So, to the scones. Unlike some recipes, these have egg and egg yolk in them, which makes them nice and tender. Note also that while the recipe calls for currants, Maida says you can sub out candied ginger and/or walnuts. That was a nice touch--though I'm sure I would have enjoyed the currants.

The butter hits the flour. Again, Maida says you can use some whole wheat flour here, so I did. It's all about appearances.

Here they are, made in France. One of the things that make these scones so easy is that you drop them rather than roll and cut them.
I suppose I could have made 12 daintier scones. Oh, well.

Ten minutes later--golden brown and ready to eat.
It's funny that in 1985, Maida wrote about how scones were all trendy and ubiquitous. Not much has changed. But she adds, and I agree, that no bakery scone is as good as the one you make at home and eat fresh from the oven.

Here's the recipe. Make it and brighten your day.


2 c. (8 oz.) sifted flour (I used 3 oz. whole wheat and 5 oz. all-purpose)
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. (1.8 oz.) sugar
6 T. (3 oz.) cold butter, in small dice
1/4 c. (1.25 oz.) currants (and/or minced candied ginger and/or chopped toasted walnuts)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 c. (4 oz.) milk
More sugar--regular or raw

Heat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone. In a medium bowl measure the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar; "whisk" with a pastry blender until combined. Add the butter and cut it in to make rather large crumbs. Add the fruit/nut combination you've chosen, the egg, egg yolk, and milk, and mix lightly with a fork until the mixture comes together--don't overmix this. Scoop out 9 to 12 scones with a large spoon and place an inch apart on your prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with the sugar and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Eat hot from the oven and hope for victory.


  1. great recipe! as i am lactose intolerant, i was pleased to find a recipe that uses orange juice in place of the milk. then i discovered that because it's cultured, i could use buttermilk in place of milk. my current favorite (not currant!) is to use orange juice and sour cherries.

  2. My Book of Great American Desserts is coming apart by the seams! It is one of my favorite cookbooks -- I've had it for about 25 years -- and I have just come across your blog for the first time, so I had to go through it to see if you had made my favorite recipes yet: Scones and Oreo Cookie Cake! I have made the scones so many times, I could do it in my sleep. I do like to vary the currants with chopped pecans, or dried, chopped cranberries or cherries, and the only other changes are that I cut the salt in half, and instead of dropping the dough, I gently shape it into a flat circle on the parchment and cut into about 8 wedges and then space them out a little bit further so they have room to bake -- I think they look a little prettier that way, and do not take much more time to do than by making a drop scone.