Orange Currant Scones

Getting out of bed was hard this morning.  The skies have opened up over Queensland, the sunshine state, and have not let up for a good month.  The rain was so heavy this morning and the sky was so dark.  It didn’t stop the kids waking up at 5am though so they ended up crawling into bed with me and we read stories.  By the time I did get out of bed I didn’t feel like breakfast but a mid-morning, rainy day indulgence.

These Orange Currant Scones are from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, one of my favourite cookbooks (I have a lot of favourites).  The blurb in the book about the scones describes them as the perfect accompaniment to an early morning coffee.

Everyone loved lingering over a scone, while sipping a third cup of coffee in the warm, bright morning sunlight in an almost empty bar with classical music in the background.  Over the years, these scones always outsold sticky buns, fresh fruit turnovers, pain au chocolat, lemon coffee cake, and everything else the pastry department scrambled to bake for the one or two customers who might arrive at 7 in the morning.  The Zuni scone is so well loved that we no longer bother making special pastries for Sunday brunch either.

I have made these a couple of times and I’m never sure if you are suppose to separate the wedges, spread them out on a baking tray and bake them or keep them all together in a wheel to bake, like a damper.  I have baked them both ways and I’m convinced now that you keep the wedges together in a wheel and then break them apart to eat them.  It really makes no difference which way you do it, just less baking time if you separate the wedges.

The scones are very easy to make when you are still half asleep and a little bleary eyed.  I speed things up a little with a food processor.  I blitzed the dry ingredients together for 10 seconds, added the butter, orange zest and blitzed again.  Then the egg and milk and blitzed until almost combined.  In went the currants and a quick, very quick, knead by hand.  Just to get the currants dispersed.  40 minutes from go to woe.  The texture is lighter if you make it all by hand though.

They are fragrant and warming.  Best eaten straight from the oven so be ready with a coffee when the oven timer goes and take them back to bed.  One thing I will add next time is a little brush with some milk and egg and sprinkle over some sugar.  Some sugar crunch on top would be a nice sweet finish.

orange currant scones

(from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook)

3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
225g cold butter
1/2 cup currants
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine.  Cut the butter into small pieces about the size of small peas and rub into the flour mix. Add the currants and orange zest and toss together.

Whisk the eggs and milk together and add to the bowl and fold everything together until it just comes together.  Divide the dough into 2 and form flat disks about 2 1/2 cm thick.  Slice up into six wedges and place each disk on the baking tray.

Bake until golden brown about 25 – 30 minutes.

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3 Responses to Orange Currant Scones

  1. Angela says:

    I am subscribed to too many blogs and it takes such a long time to get through them. So I have decided it only focus on a few favourite blogs…”tea for six ‘ is No. 1. Any recipe from such an accomplished cook has got to be a must make.
    Hopefully you will share some more recipes from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. I have roasted chicken the Zuni Cafe way and it was indeed excellent.
    I must make the scones and then try going back to bed with a coffee!

  2. natalie says:

    What an honour! Thanks Angela for the vote of confidence and yes I was flicking through the Zuni book yesterday making a mental list for all the recipes I must make. In the latest Gourmet Traveller, Neil Perry does a variation on the Zuni zucchini pickles.
    Very popular recipes.
    I’m keen to get some of your incredible recipes too!

  3. Pingback: Date-Orange Scones | The Blog That Ate Manhattan

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