One of my favourite things to make in the run up to christmas is these deliciously spicy smelling decorations that look beautiful adorning huge swags of greenery bought in from the garden. Not only do they smell amazing as they warm up in the house but they also look beautiful and are an excellent use for the ridiculous amount of oranges, tangerines, satsumas and clementines that accumulate in the fruit bowls this time of the year.
They’re so ridiculously easy to make. Simply sticking cloves into orange skin in a pretty pattern but if you respect your thumbs and you want any skin left on them for unwrapping presents on Christmas Day, I recommend using a cocktail stick to make the initial hole before sticking the clove into the peel. You can then tie a ribbon around the orange and hang them from things, I’m using them to decorate my wreath this year, alongside ribbon and branches of holly and berries.
So while in an orangey mood, I remembered that I loved the orange scones at the Kensington Palace Orangery and combined with a bored half hour in the kitchen the other morning and a desire to do some baking that isn’t mince pies, I decided to bake some festive themed scones! I wanted to use dried cranberries but we didn’t have any so I used some of the fresh cranberries that we had left over from the enormous Cranberry sauce making episode earlier in the month! (My Cranberry sauce was mentioned today on Radio Oxford, have I mentioned that?!!)
The picture, below, in no way does these scones justice because they were so sparkly with lovely pink streaks, the purple of the dried fruit and the orange from the zest but as always my Blackberry camera has destroyed this and so you’ll have to take my word for it!
- a pound and a half of self raising flour
- you can add a teaspoon of baking powder if you must!
- 120g butter
- 50g chopped fresh or dried cranberries
- 2 tsp of caster sugar
- handful of dried fruit
- the zest and juice of 2 oranges or 4 satsumas
- 3 eggs
- 300ml whole milk
- icing sugar to dust
- I make mine in a magimix but if making by hand (which stops them from having lots and lots of air in them making them a flatter scone), then just crumb in a bowl similarly to pastry. Add the flour, butter and sugar to the magimix and blitz for 30 seconds.
- Add the zest and juice and blitz again.
- Whisk the 3 eggs into the milk and leave aside 50ml of the mixture for brushing the tops of the scones.
- Pour the milky egg mix into the crumb and mix for a couple of seconds until a wet dough forms in the bowl.
- Tip out on to a floured surface and sprinkle over the dried fruit. Gather the mixture together and turn. Some people use a rolling pin but floured hands seem to be more gentle.
- Taking a cutter, press down firmly. Lift the cutter cleanly from the dough ensuring you don’t pull at the edges, this prevents the old leaning scone scenario!
- Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush the tops with the leftover egg/milk making sure not to get the mix on the sides of the scones. This will seal the sides and stop them from rising.
- Place in a 180C oven for 10-15 minutes. When removing from the oven, tap the bottom to make sure it’s firm and dry.
- Leave to cool.
- Dust with icing sugar