These Christmassy scones are so quick to make you could even whip them up on Christmas morning. Not that you need to, as they freeze beautifully.
I make quite small scones as I find the size is a bit more manageable, portion-wise, especially alongside other things to eat. (And they look absolutely adorable.) A standard Champagne flute makes the perfect cutter!
Tip: If you can’t find self-raising flour, up the total baking powder to 1 + 3/4 tbsp baking powder.
Tip: If you don’t want to use orange liqueur for the cream, just add a little orange zest and a small squeeze of the juice.
Makes 18 – 20 small scones
350g self-raising flour (plus a little more to dust)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
85g cold butter, cubed
3 tbsp sugar, plus a bit more for sprinkling
75g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Good quality marmalade (I happened to have a Champagne marmalade, but any nice one is great)
Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
Heat the oven to 425F / 220C / 200C Fan.
Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the cubed butter to the flour and use your fingers to rub the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (A pastry cutter will do the job too.) Add the sugar, chopped dried cranberries and orange zest and stir to combine. Pop the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes to keep cold.
Pour the milk into a jug and microwave for 30 – 45 seconds until warm (but not hot). Add the lemon juice and vanilla and set aside for a moment. Don’t worry if it looks like it’s curdling – it will turn out really well once the dough is baked.
Place a baking tray in the oven to get hot.
Make a well in the flour and pour the milk mixture in. Use a cutlery knife to mix the dough together. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and fold over once or twice to smooth. Pat out the dough to about two fingers thick, then cut out the scones with a robust champagne flute. Try to get as many as you can from the first pat out, then gently pat the dough together and cut out the remaining scones.
Brush the scones with beaten egg, then sprinkle lightly with sugar. Place on the hot tray and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Leave to cool on a rack.
For the Cointreau whipped cream: Pour some double cream into a bowl and sprinkle in a little sugar. Add a splash of Cointreau and whip until thickened, but not quite soft peaks.
Assemble the scones by cutting in half, dolloping on about 1 tsp marmalade and 2 tsp of the cream. Sandwich the top back on and serve within half an hour of assembly.
Tip: If you want larger scones, cut them using a standard 5cm round cutter. Add about 5 minutes to the baking time. (Recipe makes 8 scones.)
Make ahead: Scones can be frozen for up to 2 months. Cool completely after baking, then freeze in airtight containers. Reheat for a few minutes at 320F / 160C / 140C Fan.