Date and Orange Scones

p1013013This date and orange scone recipe is a variation of the tried and true Edmonds Cookbook basic scone recipe (although this is stating the obvious for New Zealanders, the Edmonds Cookbook is like the bible of NZ baking).

I have modified the recipe by reducing the quantity of plain flour by half and substituting wholemeal flour and amping up the flavour of the scone with a classic combination of dates, orange and cinnamon.

Ingredients 

  1. 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
  3. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. 75g unsalted butter
  6. 1 – 1½ cups milk, approximately
  7. Extra milk for glazing
  8. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  9. 1 1/2 cups pitted dates, roughly chopped.
  10. Zest and juice of 1 orange

orange

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius (about 430 degrees f).
  2. Zest the orange, then cut and half and juice the orange into a medium saucepan.
  3. Add the roughly chopped dates to the saucepan with the orange juice and bring to a gentle simmer and stir for 3 – 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the zest and leave to sit while you are preparing the scone mixture.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  5. Grate the butter into the bowl – this speeds up the process. Then use your fingers to rub the butter in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (don’t worry if the mixture looks more like flour than breadcrumbs – the milk will sort this out).
  6. Add 1 cup milk and mix quickly with a knife to a soft dough, adding more milk if needed (I added an additional half a cup of milk as my mixture was a bit dry).
  7. Add the cooled date and orange mixture to the scone dough and fold the dates through to combine.
  8. Press scone mix out on floured bench or tray and press into a rectangle shape – you can knead the mixture a little to further combine the dates.
  9. Use a glass or round mould to cut out 10 – 12 even sized scones. Or cut into rectangles if you prefer.

sconcut

Place on oven tray, brush tops with milk (you can use your fingers, about a half a teaspoon of milk on each scone) and place in top half of oven to bake.

Before and after oven
Before and after oven

Bake scones for about 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown and remove from the oven.

plaisconeServing suggestion

Serve the scones on their own, or with butter. I whipped up a quick decadent orange butter by mixing together butter, zest of 1/4 of an orange, a tablespoon or so of milk and a tablespoon of icing sugar.

sconesbasket

Freezing leftovers

These scones freeze well – either pop straight into zip lock bags and freeze or if you wish, pre butter them then freeze. I bring them out of the freezer first thing in the morning so it defrosts ready to enjoy with my (second..) morning coffee.

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