Vanilla Fig Scones
MUSIC PAIRING: Amos Lee, As The Crow Flies
Scooooooooooooones. Glory be. I think scones are delectable. Being that biscuits are my favorite food on earth (don’t tell the mac and cheese I said that), anything remotely related to them is welcome at my table. When it comes to sweets, you won’t often find me eating things like cupcakes and ice cream but instead, I like buttery, doughy things. Pie, shortbread, croissants filled with dark chocolate, bread pudding…these are the things I want most when it comes to sweets. Scones fall in this category for me and in fact, a scone topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream or mascarpone is just a heavenly dessert in my opinion. If you know anyone who dislikes this glorious treat, de-friend and un-follow them immediately.
Alisa, my dear friend from Denver, came to visit last weekend and she loves scones, too. Of course that meant I had to find a terrific sounding recipe to surprise her with. Here’s the thing. I’d never actually made scones before so I had no idea a) how they would turn out or 2) what I was doing. I decided to actually branch out away from Deb and Joy (sorry ladies, I’ll be back!) and check out what Food52 had to offer in the way of scone recipes. I saw the words ‘vanilla fig’ and I was sold.
I thought these were awesome. Perfectly buttery, ever so slightly tangy from the creme fraiche and happily studded with figs. MMM, figs.
Also, I just want to ask. Am I the only person that loves the crunchy raw sugar on the top of scones as much as the scone itself?
I was surprised by how simple these were to make. I wish I could say I slaved all morning but alas, I didn’t even get through a pot of coffee before these were finished.
The only thing I would do differently next time is add more figs. That might be because I kind of adore these little fruits and I mean are there really ever too many figs? Nah.
Why Amos Lee? I wanted something mellow and pleasant on in the background while I baked so Alisa and I could chat and catch up. That’s right, folks! I baked these fresh for her the morning after she got in town. Am I not the greatest friend ever?!
Recipe by: Fiveandspice on Food52
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
- 1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
- 1/2 cup chilled salted butter cut into small chunks
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chilled crème fraîche
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- The day before (or several days before) making the scones, split open your vanilla bean. Scrape out the seeds and use your fingers to blend them into the sugar. Then, add the pod to the sugar, put it all into an airtight container, and let it hang out until you're ready to bake. Remove the pod before baking (you can add it to some other sugar though to make that sugar vanilla-y for future use).
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- If your dried figs are quite plump, you can use them as they are. Otherwise, combine the chopped figs with the bourbon in a small bowl and allow the figs to rehydrate for 10 minutes, then drain. (You may want to do this even if your figs are plump. Who doesn't want their figs to be a bit bourbon-infused?)
- Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl. Working quickly, use your fingers (I prefer fingers because then I can get a better feel for how the dough is doing) or a pastry cutter to work in the butter until the dough resembles coarse meal or sand with a few larger pea-sized butter chunks still left as well. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Whisk together the eggs, cream, and crème fraîche, and add this mixture along with the (drained) chopped figs to the well. Stir until everything is just combined. Then, use your hands to gather the whole mess together.
- Dump the dough onto the counter, and pull it all together into a rough ball, and pat it into a big circle about 3/4-1 inch thick. There may be stray bits of dry flour mixture left over that won't stick to the rest of the dough. Pat on what you easily can, otherwise just leave it, it's OK. Use a dough scraper to cut the circle into 8 huge wedges. Separate the scones from each other and transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly brush the scones with the milk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake the scones in the middle rack of the oven until they are golden brown and crisped on their craggy edges, 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool as much as desired. Serve warm right from the oven.
- These scones freeze nicely before baking which is a fabulous idea if, like me, you live alone and don't want to risk eating the entire tray in one sitting.