Foodisima’s Favorite Raisin Scones


This is one of the most requested of all of my recipes. Though, in fairness, it’s one of those I make most often.

Many yoga and other types of retreats have enjoyed these bad boys. I’ve served them at wedding brunches and afternoon teas. And when friends stay over, I inevitably put together a batch of these for breakfast. At this point, I’ve done them so often they practically make themselves.

The instructions below call for a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can go old school and use a pastry cutter, blending the butter and dry ingredients by hand until the mixture looks like small peas.

Want to do a vegan version? Replace the milk or buttermilk with coconut milk and the butter with a vegan margarine like Earth Balance and — voila! — vegan scones.

Raisin Scones

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all purpose or unbleached flour
1/2 cup COLD butter, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 scant cup buttermilk OR 2/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon lemon zest or zested ginger
Sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, flour and butter in the food processor. Pulse briefly as many times as necessary until the butter is incorporated. Ideally it will look like peas in snow, but most modern food processors are so powerful, you go straight to the snow stage. In any case, you want to work with the dough as little as possible to avoid toughness.

Transfer dry ingredients to a mixing bowl. Add raisins, lemon or ginger (if using) and the milk or buttermilk. Using a spatula, stir gently, just until the ingredients are mixed. The dough will be slightly sticky. If the dough seems too wet, add another tablespoon of flour and give it one more stir.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead gently, just until it’s well enough incorporated to form into a large ball. Keep in mind that the less you handle the dough, the more tender the scones will be. Flatten the ball until you have a rough circle, about one inch thick. Cut, pie-style, for eight equal triangular-shaped pieces. Place on a parchment-covered baking sheet and sprinkle each piece with the reserved sugar.

Bake in a preheated over for 20 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown.

Serve with butter or your favorite jams and jellies though they’re also pretty great on their own.

Makes eight scones.

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