A slight crunch on the edges of these orange scones gives away to an incredibly moist middle that is packed with a ton of flavor: orange, lemon and almond. This is a very simple recipe but rewarding in all the perfect ways a scone can be.
Packed with a ton of orange zest and some lemon zest too, these are bursting with flavor. Almond flour for a little added nutritional value (psshh, it is breakfast after all) but also just goes really, really well with the orange. All these flavors come together in this slightly crispy on the outside, extremely tender on the inside scone.
I love, love making scones because they are such a quick and rewarding treat and can be made days ahead. I do everything in just one bowl (except mixing the egg and heavy cream, which you can do in a cup). Once everything is in, you can use your hands to mound the dough and a bench scraper to slice.
As annoying as it is to wait for delicious things, scones are always better baked from frozen because solidified butter melts in the hot oven to give us those flaky layers. But this also means you can just leave them in the freezer and pop them into the oven on the mornings you want them.
Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter without overdoing it. Stop when the butter bits about the size of a green pea. You can also use your hands, but not if they are very warm and will melt the butter.
This is what leads to a flakier scone, keeping the butter from melting so that it melts in the oven where it will cause the dough to puff up and create layers.
It may seem that the heavy cream/egg mixture isn’t enough moisture for the dough but as you work it, it will come together. You’ll need a bit of flour to dust the countertop to cut the shapes but avoid adding too much so you don’t end up with a dry scone.
You want to use your hands to just gather it together, don’t knead it or anything. The warmth from your hands will melt the butter if you do.
On the baking pan, place them close together (but not touching) so they rise higher.
I love using blood oranges because they’re a little tart and juice makes such a pretty pink glaze. If you are using navel or cara cara you might just want to zest one or two as they are larger than blood.
This adds a lovely almond taste and accentuates the crumbly part of the scone without drying it out. It’s a little pricey but you can buy it in bulk online. Don’t grind your own nuts though as home food processors won’t get the flour fine enough.
All purpose flour
Careful when measuring your flour. Instead of dipping the cup into the bag, use another measuring cup to sprinkle it in and then swipe over the cup to avoid over-filling it.
It’s not super common to have egg in a scone dough and some recipes use more heavy cream instead but I find it keeps the scone from being dry. Someone is likely to ask me if flax eggs would work here, I haven’t tried it!
Butter is the main ingredient that makes for a good scone. If you only have salted, omit the salt from the recipe. Butter cannot be substituted here with another oil without recalculating the rest of the ingredients since oils are compositionally different than butter. I think vegan butter could work though!
Because it’s super creamy and full of fat, heavy cream makes a more tender and moist scone. If you don’t have it you can use light cream.
Do I have to bake them from frozen?
You’ll have better shaped and flakier scones if you do!
How can I make these gluten free?
For the all-purpose portion of the flour, substitute with a gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour.
How can I make these nut-free?
You can leave out the almond flour and instead use an additional ⅔ cups all purpose flour.
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