January 27, 2013

Walnut Scones & Orange Curd

When I saw Abby's latest blog post, I knew I needed to make scones and citrus curd today to enjoy while watching Downton Abbey and drinking tea this evening.

I tried a scone recipe from King Arthur Flour, which is my new favorite.  It's a great basic vanilla scone recipe that seems like it would work well with a variety of add-ins.

It snowed all afternoon here, which is ideal baking weather.  I topped these scones with both butter and curd (separate, not combined) and loved them both ways.  The buttery version tasted like dessert, while the curd version tasted like a breakfast treat.

The scone dough comes together quickly, and I found it easy to work with.  Unlike other recipes I've tried which are too wet or too dry.

The scones are cut right on the baking sheet, just be sure to use a nylon knife if you're cutting on a Silpat.  I got mine from Pampered Chef, and it's great for cutting on non-sticks pans and pastry mats too.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you already know that I got my first Silpat this weekend.  So far I've baked biscuits, croissants and scones on it, and I'm loving it as an alternative to parchment paper.
The recipe calls for an optional topping of milk and cinnamon sugar.  I added it to half not knowing which way I would prefer these scones.  As it turns out, I could barely detect the difference both in taste and appearance.

Orange curd is a tasty topping for these walnut scones and it's quite easy to make.  You start by zesting six oranges.  You'll likely end up with a little extra zest, which I used to make cranberry nut muffins.

After zesting, slice each orange in half and start juicing.  I really like my juicer from Pampered Chef, however it's the only one I've ever owned, so I don't know how it compares to other types. 

On Martha's PBS cooking show, she swears by using a citrus press, which I'm curious about.  It seems like her method is faster, then again she is Martha Stewart, so everything she does in the kitchen is faster :)

Orange curd is delicious on these walnut scones, but somehow I don't think I'll use all 2 cups of it on scones, so I went looking for other ideas and found some great ones at Good Life Eats.
  • Breakfast - on oatmeal, as a pancake/waffle topping, swirled into yogurt, spread on toast, inside donuts.
  • Dessert - drizzled on fruit with whipped cream, as macaron filling, between cake layers, inside crepes, in a tart shell, served with panna cotta, as a cupcake filling, with ice cream, marbled with cheesecake.

Walnut Scones

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (12 scones)
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup walnuts (1 to 2 cups chopped dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts or a combination)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup milk or half & half
  • optional topping: milk and cinnamon sugar
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender. It's ok for some large chunks of butter to remain. Stir in walnuts (or fruit, chocolate chips and/or nuts).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and milk (or half & half). In the summer add the lesser amount of milk, in the winter add the greater amount.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until the dough holds together. Toward the end of this step, I used my hands to finish combining the ingredients.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a Silpat). Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment (not necessary with a Silpat).
  • Move dough to the floured parchment and divide it in half. Round each half into a 6-inch circle, about 3/4-inch thick. If desired, brush each circle with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Slice each circle into 6 wedges (I use a nylon knife with a Silpat). Then space each wedge apart about a 1/2-inch on the baking sheet.
  • Place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Bake the scones for 20 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Then cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they're completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days.
  • Scones are best served warm. They're delicious as is, but also great with butter or jam. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil and warm in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (2 cups)
  • 6 medium oranges (for 2 tablespoons zest and 1 1/4 cups juice)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Zest and juice all of the oranges. You should end up with approximately 3 tablespoons of zest and 1 1/4 cups juice.
  • In a small saucepan, stir together 2 tablespoons zest, orange juice, sugar and salt. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, dissolve the corn starch in water. Then add to the saucepan. Also add coconut milk, stirring well to combine. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring constantly (I use a heat proof spatula).
  • Add butter and continue stirring constantly for 3 more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a heat proof dish, cover the surface with plastic wrap and let cool completely before chilling.
  • Chill orange curd for 2 hours in the refrigerator before using. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for about a week.
Recipe Source: The Frosted Vegan
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  1. So glad you liked it! Too bad tonight's episode was so sad. Drat you DA!

  2. I used the snow as an excuse to live in the kitchen yesterday too! I made milk jam and an apple galette, and then drizzled the careml-y milk jam over when I served it. So I am now in the same position you are with the orange curd--what do I do with the rest. But I have a ton of oranges left from a case I bought, so there may be orange curd in my future!

  3. BTW, I have a citrus press and I love it.

  4. I'm glad you posted the recipe for orange curd. I've honestly never had any type of "curd" and had no idea what we even in it. I'm going to try it.

  5. It seems like everyone was cooking and baking yesterday while we were stuck inside! Everything you made looks so yummy! And your photos look great too.

    I was in tears watching Downton last night! I couldn't believe that happened! My co-worker read all of the spoilers and said that I would be surprised at who dies on the show next, but I didn't expect Sybil.

  6. These look so beautiful! I made tangerine curd a few months ago, and it did not turn out as well as I would have liked.

  7. These scones and the accompanying curd are absolutely perfect to accompany a night at Downton! :P Yum.