English Scones

A gluten-free Mother’s Day treat!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh


I saw the original wheat flour dough for this recipe in one of my English cookbooks and made gluten-free version of the dough, tried it, liked dough, but was bored by filling  But since then I have used my gluten-free version of the dough to make scones, non-yeast cinnamon buns, non-yeast Stromboli, yeast and non-yeast Lithuanian bacon buns, and Italian sweet ricotta Easter Pie. All of this just by altering amount of sugar, butter and type of liquid from fat free milk to heavy cream.

This pastry is a cross between pie crust and cookie dough—soft, rises due to baking powder, very rich.

In all my hands-on wheat flour cooking classes as well as brunch parties for clients, I always had to make my English scones, with raspberry jam and whipped cream with Chambord, or peach jam and cream with peach schnapps. Clients would stand in kitchen watching me make scones, unable to believe that people still baked real food. Scones are a part of life in England, cream teas, Sunday afternoon tea. My mother used to make them by the hundreds for church fair.

Gluten-Free English Scones
Makes 6 scones

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz (1 cup less 1 tbsp, 140g) King Arthur gluten-free all purpose flour – no baking powder or xanthan gum. Available in 24 oz box in grocery store.
  • 3 oz (¾ c, 84 g) almond flour – note finely ground almond flour (white) is less volume than more coarsely ground almond flour or almond meal (freckly), that’s why I weigh. Too much or too little by volume will alter recipe. Not all measuring cups are accurate.
  • ¼ c (1 oz, 28 g) powdered (icing) sugar
  • ¾ stick (3 oz, 84 g) cold butter
  • 2 tsp (10ml) gluten-free baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp (3 ml) xanthan gum, ¼ tsp xg crumbled too much even when cold.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) gf vanilla extract, almond if doing more almond filling.
  • ¼ c (60ml, 2oz)- 1/3 c cream.  I use cream for scones for a richer taste, but also a more tender dough that will crumble a bit when warm, it doesn’t need more xanthan gum.  I use 1/4c cream if I am baking scones on a baking sheet where they will spread. If you are putting scones into mini whoopie pie tins or a ‘shape’ then I use 1/3 c for dough so it’s moister but will spread without walls to contain scone.

Directions:

  1. Mix gluten-free flour, almond flour, sugar, xg, baking powder and salt together, then rub in cold butter until resembles fine breadcrumbs. Food processor is quickest.
  2. Mix egg, cream and extract together and whisk with a fork to blend egg.
  3. You can add liquid mix to dry mix in food processor and pulse to combine.  For scones I prefer to take dry mix from food processor into 4 cup bowl, add liquid and stir until combined.  Gently knead a few times with white rice flour.
  4. Pat dough into roughly 6 inch circle, Cut into 6 pieces, separate and place on lined cookie sheet or skillet and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.  Scones should have risen, be a nice light golden brown color, and look fluffy inside when you break one open. Round each piece into a ball to cook in mini whoopie tin etc.
  5. Remove from oven, let cool slightly.  If you try to halve scones too soon, they will disintegrate. Then halve and serve with good raspberry jam (my favorite) topped with imported clotted cream – about $5 for 6 oz jar in specialty cheese section of my regular grocery store. Or just whip and sweeten some heavy cream.
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