Scones made with yogurt and crème fraîche

Like everything served at Sara’s recent tea party, her scones received rave reviews.

Cranberry Scones
Sara’s Cranberry Scones

Despite my still questionable scone-making ability, I requested Sara’s recipe. Trying to bake like her would be impossible for me, but I welcomed the challenge.

And the challenge started with the ingredients. Sara’s scones include three of her baking staples: organic flour, plain yogurt, and crème fraîche. I forgot to buy organic flour, so all-purpose flour had to serve as a substitute. And crème fraîche was a mystery to me. Fortunately her recipe listed milk as an alternative. (I now know that crème fraîche would have been easy to make: combine 1 cup of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of buttermilk, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Click here for more detailed instructions. I’ll try this next time.)

Sara's almond scones
Sara’s almond scones

At her tea party Sara served two types of scones: almond and cranberry. The almond scones were especially popular. Since I don’t eat nuts, her cranberry scones were my choice. But I did not choose cranberries for my own scones. Instead I added the baking staple that is never missing from my cupboard: chocolate chips.

So while my version of these scones lacked all the elegance of Sara’s baking, her tea party, and the tea and scones culture, I enjoyed the effort. Next time I’ll use the proper ingredients, including homemade crème fraîche.

Scones made with yogurt and crème fraîche

Ingredients

This recipe is tea-party sized (32 scones). The ingredients can be halved.

  • 4 cups of organic flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of any of the following: broken almonds or other nuts, dried cranberries or other dried fruit, or any other desired add-in
  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of crème fraîche (or substitute with 1/2 cup of milk)
  • Fancy sugar (optional)

Instructions

Sara uses a stand mixer to combine ingredients.

  1. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar.
  2. Blend butter into the dry ingredients until beads of dough form.
  3. Mix in almonds, dried cranberries, or other add-ins.
  4. Add the plain yogurt and crème fraîche (or plain yogurt and milk).
  5. Mix until dough forms.
  6. Divide dough in half.
  7. Turn out one half of the dough onto a floured surface.
  8. Roll or press dough into a square about 8 or 9 inches on each side, about 1/2 inch thick.
  9. Slice dough into 4 quarters, and then create triangles, like this: Triangle scones
  10. Separate scones onto parchment lined baking sheet.
  11. Sprinkle with fancy sugar, if desired.
  12. Bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes.
  13. While first batch is baking, repeat steps 8-11 with the other half of the dough.

The Results

As expected, my scones lacked the elegance of Sara’s, and not just because of the substitutions. My precision when rolling and cutting the dough needs improvement.

Diane's scones
Diane’s scones

Still, I was satisfied with the result. These scones are moist and flavorful with the crumbly texture typical of scones. Despite appearances, I feel as if great scones, or at least good ones, are within my reach.

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