Sunday, January 22, 2012

Scones and Alice Waters

Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food is one of my favorite cookbooks. It is somewhat textbookish, written to teach different cooking techniques, explain cooking terminology, demonstrate how to make certain foods from scratch, and so on. She has simple, wholesome recipes that bring out the natural flavor of a particular ingredient. You will enjoy food the way it was meant to be eaten.   

Today, I want to share my own scone recipe, inspired by Alice Waters’ original. What I love about her scone recipe is the simplicity of the baking process, which requires very few ingredients and not too much work, and the light and lovely taste you get from each bite. Her recipe is very foolproof and gives you plenty of room to experiment! I have played with it many times, adding lemon zest, orange zest, chocolate chips, cranberries, combinations of these, adding pumpkin to the wet ingredients, and so on. Miraculously, they always turned out nicely.

One of my successful attempts from playing with the original recipe is my Cranberry Pumpkin Scones. Perfect for cold, wintry days…


Some of the steps:

Bake me now!

Cranberry Pumpkin Scones (Makes 8 servings)
(inspired by Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food)

2 cups unbleached whole-wheat flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp crème fraiche
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1/8 tsp freshly ground whole cloves

2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp white sugar

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and dried cranberries.

In another bowl, mix together heavy cream, pumpkin puree, crème fraiche, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves.

Mix wet mixture into the dry mixture until the dough just starts to come together. It will be sticky. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead briefly, just enough to bring the dough completely together. Pat it into an 8-inch circle. Divide the dough into 8 wedges.

In a tiny bowl, mix together the cinnamon-sugar glaze: cinnamon, brown sugar, and white sugar.

Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.

Move the wedges on the baking sheet. Brush first with butter and then vanilla. Then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes in an oven preheated to 400 degrees F.

Savor every bite, to the very last crumb!

What are you waiting for? Start making these yummy sconies!


  1. I just cooked up the last of the fall pumpkins, and so finally had a chance to try this. Since the pumpkin was fresh (and therefore more watery even when drained), I substitute non-fat yogurt and a tbsp of butter for the creams. They turned out wonderfully!

    Nancy Mc.

    1. Nancy, Nancy, Nancy, where have you been assigned these past few months? Have not seen you in a long time! I bet these were 1,000 times better with real pumpkins! Thanks for trying it!

    2. With the exception of two Elementary schools that appear to like me more than others (Pasco and Hermiston) I am rarely in the same building two times in a month. We should get together and do food. I just got the Red Hat Society Cookbook and am in love. You should borrow it.

      Nancy Mc


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