Remember my grand idea of Scone Sundays? Would you like to know if I’ve kept up with it? Well, that would be a great, big NO! I missed two Sundays straight, meaning I haven’t baked scones since. But here are my valid excuses: two weeks ago I was worn out from a whirlwind eating tour of San Francisco, and last week I was risking life and limb on our third outing in our little sailboat. This weekend I don’t have any excuses, so it’s high time I get back on the wagon!
Needless to say, I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate what kind of scones to make next. The combination of apricots and tonka beans proved to be so good in these cakelettes that I decided to translate the flavor into scones.
Apricot-Tonka Bean Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon freshly grated tonka bean
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 ounces (¾ stick) cold unsalted butter, shredded
½ cup diced dried apricots
1 large egg
½ cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, tonka bean, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Toss in the apricots. Blend together the egg and cream in a small bowl, add to the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Transfer to a work surface and knead a few times until the dough just holds together. Pat the dough into a 6-inch wide, 1 ½-inch thick circle and cut into 8 wedges. Arrange the scones a couple of inches apart on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Makes 8 scones. Work quickly and with a light touch to prevent the butter in the pastry from melting. Serve warm, possibly with clotted cream. Scones keep for a day or two in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place. Read this if you’re curious about tonka beans. For the record, tonka beans are illegal to use in food in the U.S. You can substitute a few drops each of vanilla extract and almond extract and a pinch of ground cloves for the tonka bean.