December scones

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Ingredients

  • 2 clementines
  • 4 cloves
  • 150 g dried cranberries
  • 150 g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 500 g self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 heaped tablespoons golden caster sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk , plus extra for brushing
  • 3 tablespoon quality cranberry sauce
  • FILLING
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 1 clementine
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 heaped tablespoons icing sugar
 

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Method

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6.

Grate the clementine zest into a food processor and set aside. Squeeze all the juice into a small pan, add the cloves and simmer over a low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, then remove the cloves. Add the cranberries and cook until they’re fully rehydrated and have sucked up all the clementine juice. Leave to cool a little.

Roughly chop the butter and add to the zest in the food processor. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of sea salt and pulse to fine breadcrumbs.

Crack in the eggs and pulse again. Add the milk a splash at a time and pulse until it comes together into a dough, then tip out onto a floured board and put the blade back in the processor.

When the cranberries have cooled slightly, blitz in the food processor until finely chopped. Tip onto the dough and gently knead – it’s important to handle the dough as little as possible so you end up with short, crumbly scones. Add a touch more flour as you go, if needed.

Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper, or if you’re planning to freeze the scones, prepare a few trays that will fit in your freezer.

Roll the dough out to roughly 2cm thick, then stamp out the scones with a round 5cm fluted pastry cutter. Roll out any off-cuts and re-shape to use up the dough.

Poke the middle of each scone with your floured finger to make a well, brush the top with milk and add a little cranberry sauce, Jammie Dodger-stylee!

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the scones have risen and are golden. Leave to cool slightly before serving.

For the filling, gently whip the cream to soft peaks, then grate in the clementine zest and fold through, along with the almond extract and icing sugar. Refrigerate until needed, then serve with the cranberry scones and a pot of tea.

If you don’t want to bake a whole batch of scones, freeze them after you’ve cut them out. That way, you can come home from work and simply pop the frozen rounds in the oven at 180ºC/gas 4, and in 20 to 25 minutes you’ll have hot, golden scones.

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