To think I could have been indulging in these scones for years – six to be exact. For that is how long the recipe has been languishing in my folder. Unused. Unloved. Until now.
I’ve passed over this recipe many times. Not because they didn’t look lovely – large scones oozing with custard and drizzled with icing – but because I thought they’d be time consuming. Whipping up a batch of scones is one thing, but custard and icing too? Sigh … if only I’d known.
Well now I can confirm that this recipe takes scones to a new high. My first taste – and I couldn’t wait to taste them – was like biting into a cross between a Danish pastry and a scone. Seriously scrumptious. The vultures thought so too. The scones vanished in seconds.
As well as mistakenly waiting too long to attempt them, I also erred in the amount I made. I halved the recipe figuring three of us would not eat twelve scones. Wrong. Three of us would have eaten twelve scones. Hell, one of us may have eaten twelve scones! I swear they were that good. The look on B’s face said the same. If there is one piece of sage advice I can give you – I implore you to make lots!
The recipe was published in City Mix magazine in 2005 and came from the then chef, Katrina Smith of Craven “A” café, 4 Saint Paul St, Auckland (I believe the café is still there, not sure if the chef is). The café is near the University of Auckland and I imagine masses of grateful students have hungrily demolished these. A warning to Katrina – if you ever see me, run! I feel I am going to be overcome with gratitude for this treat and plant big kisses on your cheeks!
cranberry and custard scones
Makes 12 scones
a handful of dried cranberries
3 cups standard flour
3 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 pinch salt
200g butter, diced or grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups custard (make custard following packet directions)
Preheat oven to 220°C.
Place cranberries in a saucepan, add a little water and heat gently until cranberries are softened and water has evaporated. Drain to remove excess water and leave to cool.
Make custard following packet directions (or use store-bought, chilled custard) and leave to cool (place in the fridge to cool down quickly if you are short of time).
Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough milk to form a soft, but not sticky, dough – use a palette knife to bring the mixture together. Roll dough into a large rectangle and cut in half. Brush both halves with the beaten egg.
Spread the custard over one half of the dough and sprinkle with the cranberries. Place the other half of the dough on top. Brush the top with beaten egg. Cut into 12 pieces, place on a lined baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes.
When cooled slightly but still warm, drizzle the scones with the icing, or you can glaze with hot jam or dust with icing sugar.