It began innocently enough: Demure almond scones served warm from the oven, with a little jam and maybe some clotted cream – perfectly proper fare for breakfast, brunch or tea. A tad decadent, perhaps, but still a fine way to start the day. Then came word of the same almond scones emerging at all hours of the night, dressed provocatively in billows of whipped cream and a slathering of juicy strawberries. When approached for comment, one scone replied: “I may have a soft spot for berries, but I’m no tart.”
Almond Scones Click for Almond Scone Recipe
Makes about 20 2-inch scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 package (7 oz.) almond paste
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
- ½ cup heavy (whipping cream)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
Heat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease lightly with butter).
In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; pulse to combine. Cut almond paste into 1” chunks (or break into pieces) and add to food processor; pulse a few times to blend. (Note: you could also mix by hand – cutting in the almond paste and butter with a pastry blender tool or two butter knives. The food processor makes it a lot easier, though!)
Cut butter into ½” slices and add to food processor; pulse until mixture looks like wet sand.
Combine cream, vanilla and egg in a liquid measuring cup. Pour into flour mixture and pulse until combined and dough sticks together when pinched.
Dump mixture onto another piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Pull up on sides to bring dough together into a mound.
Place a piece of plastic wrap on top and roll out dough to ¾” thickness. With a 2” or 2 ½” biscuit cutter, cut into circles. (You could also just use a knife to cut into more rustic squares.)
Place on baking sheet (can be placed close together since they don’t spread) and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Can be made ahead and/or frozen; reheat in a 300F oven for a few minutes to crisp. Be sure to save some for Strawberry Almond Shortcakes, or for a surprise visit from William and Kate.
Recipe adapted from “Classic Cream Scones” in Simply Scones, by Leslie Weiner and Barbara Albright.
Strawberry Almond Shortcakes Click for Shortcake Recipe
Makes 4 servings
- 8 almond scones, sliced in half
- 16 oz. strawberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups heavy (whipping) cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon almond extract
Wash, hull and slice strawberries; add to bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and stir to coat. Set aside. (Berries will make their own sauce as they sit.)
To a small bowl, add cream, powdered sugar and vanilla (and almond extract if using for an extra almond hit). Using an electric mixer on medium-low, beat for a minute or so. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff (but not yet butter!). Can be made a day ahead (cover and keep refrigerated).
To assemble scone shortcakes (just before serving), arrange 2 bottom halves of scones on each plate. (Optional: warm the scone halves in a 300F oven or toaster oven for a few minutes for a crisper/crumblier texture.) Top with some strawberry mixture, then a little whipped cream. Add scone tops and a little more whipped cream. Finish with more strawberries.
So good! Any time of day.