IN HONOR of D’s return to Philadelphia, I whipped up a batch of cranberry pecan scones. I figured she’d be snacky after her flight and wanted to make sure there was something fresh and tasty for her to nibble on as we talked late into the night about her adventures (both culinary and travel-wise).
A few weeks ago as I stumbled through Trader Joe’s, I picked up a few bags of chopped nuts and a flat pack of Super Cranberry and Pomegranate Blend. So, as I contemplated D’s imminent return, I needed a recipe that would let me use up some of those nuts while sampling the berry blend, and also be functional as a snack or breakfast. And while I had dinner cooking on the stovetop, I figured a quick scone-baking venture in the oven was the perfect way to go.
They turned out even better than I had anticipated: moist, lovely, and just the slightest bit tart. As D and I sat up over her photographs of Nepal, Argentina, and the El Camino trail in Spain, the scones lent our conversation a small bit of down-home flair. As we spoke of dreams and personal symbols and signs, the scones gave us a grounding in the here-and-now that allowed our flights of fancy to take wing. These are not just scones, as no baked good is ever just a bit of flour and baking soda: these are moments of living, and they can transform a single “Hello, I’ve missed you” into a much denser, larger, and lovelier conversation.
Have I ever said that I truly do believe in the power of food to unite people? It’s the closest we come to magic . And that’s the kind of fantasy world I can truly get behind.
Cranberry Pecan Scones
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in the butter. Stir in the cranberries and pecans.
In a separate bowl, mix the orange juice and beaten egg. Mix with dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened.*
On the baking sheet, form the dough into a 6-1/2″ circle. Because the dough will be sticky, moisten your hands with water to shape the circle. Cut into 6 wedges but do not separate the wedges. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.
Cool, separate those wedges, and serve! With the flavors in this, I like to serve them with butter and not overload the cranberries and pecans with jam. Perfect for breakfast, tea, or an anytime snack.
*Note: If you mess up and add the orange juice and egg mixture before you add the butter, cranberries, and pecans, don’t fret! The mixing will be harder, sure, but no harm done: the scones will be just as delightful. Also, if your geometry is as topsy-turvy as my own, you might be lucky enough to end up with 7 scones instead of merely 6!