So…I have a confession to make.
I cheated on this recipe.
In a couple of ways, actually. Allow me to explain.
1. I didn’t come up with this flavor combination on my own.
2. I used an existing recipe and adapted it to a scone recipe.
3. I used my new Vitamix. (While perhaps not technically cheating, it feels like cheating because I’m used to fighting with my blender to actually blend anything to my satisfaction.)
So really, I’m a big, fat cheater on this recipe. But hey–as long as it tastes good, right?
But in all seriousness, does anyone else browse recipes online for flavor combinations? I’ve only watched Cupcake Wars in order to see what flavor combinations they bake, after all. (I’m really not a huge fan of any reality TV show, and especially don’t care for cooking shows for some reason.)
I am, however a HUGE fan of my new Vitamix. How did I not get one of these sooner?! Oh because they’re ridiculously expensive, that’s why. Right.
Luckily, my husband loves to spoil me and got me one for Christmas. So I’ve been coming up with ways to use it almost daily.
To my delight, my husband also presented me with a dozen muffin recipes from a Food Network magazine. They had one flavor for each month, and it seemed perfect to adapt them to scones, something I often do, to tell the truth.
But had I not already owned a Vitamix, I might not have bothered to attempt this recipe, as it calls for using the whole clementine orange–peel and all. My old blender would have protested this step, and I probably would have peeled the clementines in that case. But, it’s amazing how easily my Vitamix handles those peels. (In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t get anything for singing the praises of my Vitamix.)
So while I stole this recipe almost verbatim from a Food Network magazine, I did actually make several adjustments. Obviously, I had to reduce the amount of liquid, but I also subbed heavy whipping cream for the whole milk and a couple of other things. One change that I did not intend to make was actually omitting butter entirely. That was a mistake the first time I made it.
You see, scones don’t have to contain butter. Sure they are flakier with it (the high fat content combined with the cold fat and the underworked dough makes them flaky), but not all scones need butter for a good texture.
In fact, I made a little adjustment after my first experimental batch and found that I liked the texture second version much better. One small tweak of subbing half the whipping cream for full-fat Greek yogurt have these scones a much nicer crumb and texture.
A note for those without a Vitamix or blender:
If you don’t have a Vitamix, you can try a simple blender. If your blender cannot handle the orange peel, then simply use the flesh of the orange. If you do just use the flesh, I’d suggest first zesting the orange and adding the zest separately if you desire the extra punch of citrus. But otherwise, just the flesh of the oranges will suffice.
If you don’t have a blender or choose not to bother, you could chop the oranges finely or leave them as chunks.
And with that all said and done, let’s get on with the show. 😃
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 clementines, unpeeled but cut into 8 pieces
Generous 1/3 to 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (I used frozen)
1/4 cup whipping cream (MORE if needed)
1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt) together.
3. Add the clementines to a capable blender, such as a Vitamix, along with 1/4 cup cream, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, and the 2 eggs. Blend until smooth.
4. Add the pomegranate seeds to the dry mixture, and give a few stirs to evenly combine.
5. Add the clementine mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine, making sure not to overmix the dough. If you do not have enough liquid to make the dough come together, add small amounts of cream until only a few dry bits remain on the bottom. (I did not need any additional liquid, so make sure you give the dough several stirs to bring the dough together before adding any liquid. However, this will depend on the humidity where you live and the qualities of your flour on the day of mixing.)
6. Using a 1/4-cup scoop, drop scones onto a parchment lined baking sheet about three inches apart.
7. (Optional: freeze for 30 minutes or longer if desired.)
8. Bake at 450ºF for about 12-14 minutes if frozen, 10-12 minutes if thawed. Bake until golden on top and the middles look cooked, or a toothpick comes out clean with only a few crumbs.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cook on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or freeze individually and reheat at 350ºF until warmed through.
These are very orangey scones. The pomegranate is the undercurrent of flavor, but they’re great with coffee or tea (as any scone should be). I would suggest a black tea or even a citrusy tea to accompany it–or else a strong cup of black coffee. Above all, savor them as they’re meant to be savored.
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