Apricot Swirl Scones from Biscuits and Scones

April 24, 2012

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Here’s another selection from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks: Biscuits and Scones by Elizabeth Alston.

Apricot Swirl Scones
3/4 cup (4 oz) Dried Apricots
2 TBS Honey
2 2-inch strips Lemon Peel, removed with a peeler
1 TBS Lemon Juice
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 TBS Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup Sugar
3 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/3 cup Buttermilk (or plain yogurt)
Finely chop the apricots and put in a small saucepan with remaining filling ingredients. Add 1/4 cup water.   Cover and simmer 10 minutes over low heat until apricots are very soft. Discard lemon peel. Mash apricots with the back of a spoon to a coarse, thick puree.
While the filling cooks, mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until creamy.

Add sugar and beat until 2 to 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Mix in vanilla.

Scrape down the bowl, reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, mix only until just blended.

Scrape sides, add buttermilk, mix only until blended.

Using a spatula, fold apricot puree into the batter, only until swirled through.

Scoop 1/3 cupfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet, placing the mounds 2 inches apart.

Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

(Or, freeze, and when hard, remove to a plastic bag and keep frozen for up to 6 weeks.)
Heat oven to 350F.

Uncover scones and bake 15 minutes.

Turn heat down to 325F and bake 10-14 minutes longer, or until pale golden brown.

Cool, uncovered on a wire rack.
She says you can omit the pre-baking refrigeration time, but she feels it produces a finer texture and a more intense apricot flavor.

Also suggests sprinkling a 1/4 cup chopped pistachios once they are on the cookie sheet for ‘festive’ occasions.

My notes:
I forgot the vanilla, so sprinkled with vanilla sugar before baking. Did the 45 min fridge rest.

I thought the 1/3 cup portions were much too big—next time, use 1/4 cup scoop to make 16 scones on 2 baking sheets. Next time I will also try skipping the ‘swirl’ and just add apricots into batter.

I baked mine at 350F for 15 minutes, then at 325F for 16 minutes more.

Filed Under: Mixed-Bag

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