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Tender Peach & Vanilla Scones


 
These wonderful peach scones are tender and delicious served warm from the oven. I can honestly say that I have never met a scone I didn't immediately fall in love with.
 
These beautiful scones are filled with lovely flavours and make the perfect bread to serve at breakfast, for a brunch, or for a ladies luncheon or tea party. 



They use simple pantry ingredients. Things which we probably all have in our cupboards. They are super fast and very easy to make.

You can opt to use fresh peaches in them  or tinned peaches, perfect for the winter months. Both work beautifully.  Just make sure if you use the tinned option that you pat them dry really well.


I guaranteed they will be delicious with either option.  Actually these scones are a brilliant way to use up supermarket peaches that are hard and less than their best.  There is something about cooking with fruit that can bring the best out of what many might see as throw away fruit. 

Have you ever done that?  Picked up a punnet of fruits at the shops because they were a good deal, only to get them home and realise that there was no way under heaven they were every going to soften up enough to eat them out of hand?


I have done this and been disappointed many times by substandard fruits. Fruits that actually turn mealy instead of ripening to perfection. Problem no more.

Just cook with them.  It is guaranteed to bring out their best.  Trust me on this.


Cold butter is key when it comes to making perfect scones. Use your butter straight from the refrigerator, cutting it into smaller bits and dropping it into your flour base.

Proper scones use a rubbing in technique for the fats, rather than cutting. That is a part of the reason really cold butter is essential as well as working quickly.  You rub the fat in with your fingertips, using a snapping motion.


Keeping you hands cool and working quickly is also key. (Its not hard to keep your hands cold on a winter's day actually. Not for me anyways.)

The cold butter actually helps to create little air pockets in the dough while it bakes. This makes for a lighter and more tender scone, with big fluffy layers.  You also get a scone that is beautifully crisp on the outside, but amazingly light inside..


I have used poppyseeds in these, to help give a bit of contrast and additional texture. You can leave them out if you wish.  I love poppyseeds in anything.

However, if you are serving them for a luncheon you may absolutely want to leave them out. Ladies really don't like to get caught with seeds in their teeth and poppyseed is notorious for that.


A light hand is also a necessity when it comes to making scones.  Over-handling the dough creates a tough finish, so handle them as little as possible. 

Just knead the dough very lightly and then pat into shape on a lightly floured surface.  You will also need a lovely SHARP cutter, and then cut them out using a quick tapping motion.  DON'T twist the cutter as you cut them.


Twisting not only results in a lopsided scone, but also ensures that the scones won't rise as tall as they would otherwise.  By twisting you seal the edges of the dough and it has to work harder to rise. 

A sharp direct up and down cut is best. I also try to get as many cuts as I can out of the first patting out.  You can of course gather the scraps together and cut more, but these re-pats will not be near as nice as the first cuts.


There is a tiny amount of vanilla in these. Vanilla goes really well with the flavour of peaches. Surprisingly so.

You could of course use a vanilla paste, which is thick and lush and filled with lots of seeds, if you are lucky enough to have it.  But in any case always use a good vanilla.  Articially flavoured vanilla is always substandard and tastes, well  . . .  artificial.


Another flavour that goes well with peaches is almond. Feel free to use almond extract in the place of the vanilla extract to give these delicious scones a completely different slant! 

I always like to brush the tops of my scones and add a bit of crunch.  A bit of cream and some turbinado/demerara raw sugar does the trick beautifully!


If you are going to glaze them however, you may want to leave this step out.   But I have done both before and been very pleased with the results. 

This is a buttery crisp scone, moreishly flaky  . . .  filled with tender sweet pieces of peach . . .  crunchy poppyseeds, and infused with a touch of vanilla. 

Once baked all you have to do is to decide what you are going to enjoy them with!


If you are lucky enough to have clotted cream do serve these with ice cold clotted cream. Clotted Cream, how do I love thee.  Let me count the ways . . .

Clotted cream is a lush, luxurious type of really thick cream that is available in the UK. It is created by heating full cream cow's milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it to cool slowly in shallow pans overnight.

It forms a buttery crust as it cools which is lush and delicious. It is very hard to replicate outside of the UK.  I would recommend using whipped heavy cream in its place.

Tender Peach & Vanilla Scones

The glutton in me also loves to enjoy these with a jam or preserve of some sort. I favour apricot or peach myself, but raspberry would also be delicious and working very well with the flavours of the peach.

The hardest part about these is deciding wether to put the jam on first or the cream.  What school are you from?  I am a cream first kind of a gal.  These will be delicious no matter what way around you decide to do it. 

Washed down with hot cups of tea, it just doesn't get much better than this!!

 

Peach & Vanilla Scones

Peach & Vanilla Scones

Yield: 10 scones
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 15 Mincook time: 20 Mintotal time: 35 Min
If you need to you can also use drained tinned peaches in the place of fresh ones. Just dry them really well with paper kitchen towelling before chopping. These are delicious!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups (500g) all purpose/plain flour (3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar 
  • 1/2 cup (125g) butter, cubed 
  • 3 small fresh peaches, chopped coarsely
  • 1 tsp poppyseeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium free range egg, beaten
  • 7 TBS (100ml) whole milk (7 TBS)
  • Cream to brush on the tops
  • demerara sugar to sprinkle on the tops

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl along with the sugar and baking powder.
  3. Drop in the butter and rub it in with your fingertips, using a snapping motion, until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Stir in the chopped peaches and the poppyseeds.
  4. Whisk together the vanilla, egg and milk. Add to the dry mixture to make a soft dough.
  5. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Pat out about 1 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Stamp out into rounds with a very sharp 3 inch round cutter. Place onto the baking sheet.
  7. Push any trimmings together and re-pat out to stamp out more rounds if necessary and also place on the baking sheet.
  8. Brush tops lightly with cream and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Serve slightly warm with clotted or whipped cream and apricot jam. Fabulous!
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Tender Peach & Vanilla Scones

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Marie Rayner
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4 comments:

  1. Ohhh ... something we don't agree on. I'm very much of the school that thinks it ought to be jam first followed by a dollop of whipped cream. That was how my grandmother taught me, so I've always done that. I had no idea that people did it in another way.

    These sound lovely. I can't recall seeing decent fresh peaches for sale here ever. I miss the beautiful stone fruit that I had back home. Here they import peaches and nectarines that are as hard as bullets and which never ripen to any state fit to enjoy. So it's good to know that I can cook with them at least. I have tinned peaches in the cupboard that I use for trifle as well as Peach and Raspberry cobbler, so now I can add scones to my list.

    I love scones - sweet or savoury and agree that there is an art to getting them light and fluffy as they should be. I think this might be a weekend treat for us - I'm keen to taste them now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its been very long time since I have had a decent fresh Peach Marie! I can only imagine how lovely they taste in Georgia. But I do love tinned peaches and this is a great way to use them, or the hard supermarket variety! Delicious any way! I guess I will take clotted cream and jam on scones any which way I can get them! I will miss the clotted cream from the UK. xoxo

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  2. These look lovely Marie! I have made my own clotted cream, as here in the states it's quite hard to find. Take a shallow baking dish (I use a small one) and pour 1-2 cups of heavy cream in. You have to find the one that does not say ultra-pasteurized. then put it in the oven on like 180F for about 8-10 hours. Take it out, let it cool to room temp and then refrigerate overnight. The next day, you skim off the clotted cream. Tastes just like the imported one and so much cheaper. Hope you have a great day! Much love - Raquel XO

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's a cold day and I might have to bake today! I don't have all the ingredients but I'm pretty sure I can come up with something. Thanks for the inspiration. (We might make your chicken again tonight. Last time I made it for Rick he swooned!)

    ReplyDelete

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