Cranberry Orange Scones, Blueberry Lemon Scones

 cranberru irange blueberry lemon scones 
Cranberry Orange Scones, Blueberry Lemon Scones

Recently, on a trip to Bangor, I visited a delightful little coffee shop in Dover-Foxcroft. Center Coffee House is located in a storefront adjoining the theater downtown. They have amazing espresso drinks and the most delicious donuts but the highlight of this particular visit was the cranberry orange scone I picked up on a whim.

I’ve never thought much about scones one way or the other. The few I had tried before were dry and crumbly or nearly hard as a rock. This particular scone looked so inviting, I decided to give it a try. It stood tall in the pastry case with a shiny glaze dripping down its many layers of nooks and crannies.

  
I brought it out to the car, excited to share with my wife. After the first flaky bite, I was hooked. I’ve spent the last several weeks thinking about that scone and how I wanted to make one just like it.

Yesterday, I finally made that dream a reality. I love trying something I’ve never done before, especially when it comes out as good as these scones did! I was surprised and delighted to find out how much making scones was like making biscuits. They were so simple and took such little time, I made two different kinds. Here is the recipe I used from “The Bakers Manual.”

Cream Scones

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

6 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter

1/3 cup currants (I used dried cranberries)

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Whisk all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or box grater, cut the butter into the flour until pea-size clumps form. Stir in the currants or whatever (I also added orange zest for the cranberry and lemon zest with the blueberry).

  
In another bowl, whisk together the cream, egg and vanilla. While tossing the flour mixture with a fork, gradually pour enough liquid into the bowl to form a dough when pressed (I found it needed every bit of the liquid). Reserve remaining liquid.

  
Form dough into a disk with your hands, adding cream if necessary. On a floured surface, form dough into around disk 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches high; cut into eight wedges with a floured knife.

  
Refrigerate dough 20 minutes (I did this backwards and refrigerated the disk for 20 minutes before cutting). Brush tops of dough with any remaining cream mixture, using additional cream if necessary (I used egg wash instead). Bake at 425 F for 14-16 minutes, or until golden.

  
Additionally, I mixed a little orange juice (lemon for the blueberry) with a lot of powdered sugar to make a sweet glaze to drizzle on top.

  
These scones turned out at least as good, if not better than the one I had at the coffee shop! I was so pleased with the results. I can’t wait to try some different flavor combinations!

  

Tomato and Avocado Salad with Orange, Fennel and Fresh Herbs

  
Tomato and Avocado Salad with Orange, Fennel and Fresh Herbs

This fresh summer salad is perfect for a large group and it makes its own dressing!

Ingredients:

  

8 large tomatoes

1 red onion

4 oranges

4-5 haas avocados

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup fresh tarragon

1/4 cup fresh basil

1 bulb fennel

Directions:

  

Core tomatoes and cut into wedges. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

  
Slice onion thin and add to tomatoes.

  
Remove skin from oranges and cut into segments. Add to tomatoes and onions and toss lightly.

  
Cut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop out of the skin with a large kitchen spoon.

  
Slice avocados into wedges and add to tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and fresh herbs and gently toss to coat.

  
Turn out onto a large platter and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper.

  
Shave fennel on a mandoline slicer and place in the center of the salad. Serve immediately.