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Vintage California Cuisine: 300 Recipes from the First Cookbooks Published in the Golden State


2010 James Beard Award Winner: Baking and Dessert

By James Peterson 

James Peterson writes, “Scones are a lot like biscuits, but the dough is lightly sweetened. This recipe can accommodate any sort of dried fruit.”

(Makes 8 scones)

3 cups flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, thinly sliced
1 1/4 cups milk or heavy cream, plus more as needed
1 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or diced dried apricots, soaked for 30 minutes in just enough water to cover, drained

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Arrange the butter on top so the slices don't overlap and cut through the mixture with a pastry cutter until the butter is about the size of peas. Add the milk and stir the mixture just long enough to absorb the milk and any loose flour. If you still see loose flour, add another 2 tablespoons milk.

2. Sprinkle the cranberries over the mixture while stirring so they are evenly distributed in the dough. Stir together the dough with a rubber spatula for about one minute. Don't overwork the dough.

3. Dump the dough out onto a work surface and use your hands to gather it together into a mound, then flatten it into a disk. At this point, it may be necessary to knead it a little to get it to hold together. Don't knead it any more than necessary for it to hold together in a loose shaggy mass. Roll it out into a ¾-inch-thick disk..

4. Turn down the oven to 350°F. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the scones are pale brown.

Copyright 2007 Seasonal Chef