Light, rich, delightful scones with figs and a bit of honey.
The last time I was in London (far too long ago), I remember eating a scone each morning and enjoying every last bite. While I had tried them back at home, they were nothing in comparison. It was the first time I had tasted such delicious scones and with so many different flavors!
As usual, because I panicked about the fig’s short season, I bought way more than I needed. I actually still have nearly a pound of figs left after making this recipe, so be prepared for more fig recipes soon. It’s not over yet.
Scones are quick breads with a crumbly texture that are crispy at the edges and soft on the inside. These scones use one of my favorite unique combinations – banana and chocolate chips.
The most important things to keep in mind when making these fig scones is to mix the dough as little as possible and to work quickly. Over mixing will make the scones tough, and if the butter melts in the warm dough, it will be much harder to work with. That’s why it’s also important to use cold ingredients. Very cold butter is necessary (you can slice into cubes, then put in the freezer for 15 minutes), but the eggs, cream, and flour are also better if they’re cold.
To make the scones, start by mixing together the dry ingredients. Then cut in the butter by using a fork or pastry cutter, or by tossing with your hands. Work as quickly as possible, mixing until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Uneven or large pieces of butter are fine. Adding the figs at this point, rather than folding them in once the wet ingredients are added, helps to avoid over mixing, so add in the figs and mix until coated.
Add the wet ingredients all at once and mix gently just until the dough starts to come together. It’s ok if it’s slightly sticky. Knead the dough 5-6 times on a floured surface, then pat to a circle, cut into wedges, and bake.
I like to use heavy cream in my scone recipes. You can substitute it with a different liquid such as half and half, milk, or even buttermilk (which, of course, will give the scones a tang and different taste), but heavy cream makes these scones rich, soft, and, in my opinion, as perfect as can be.
I also added some honey that goes well with the figs, although you won’t taste much of it in the final product. If you prefer to omit it, substitute it with 2 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Dried fruit can be replaced with fresh.
- 2 cups (280 grams/10 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (75 grams/2.6 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (115 grams/1 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup heavy cream , plus 1 tablespoon (for brushing the tops)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 – 1 cup chopped figs , fresh or dried
- Coarse/turbinado/demerara sugar , for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers. Alternately, you can pulse the ingredients in a food processor. Mix until mixture resembles coarse meal. Having uneven pieces of butter throughout is ok. Gently stir in figs until coated with flour.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg, 1/2 cup heavy cream, honey and vanilla extract, then add to the flour mixture. Gently toss with a rubber spatula until dough begins to form. Don’t over mix. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead gently, about 5-6 times, until a ball forms. The dough might be slightly sticky. Pat the dough into a 9-inch (22 cm) circle, about 3/4-inch thick, and cut into 8 even wedges.
- Place scones on prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with a bit of heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes. While scones are still hot, sprinkle again with coarse sugar for extra crunchiness.
- Scones are delicious either warm or at room temperature.
- Scones are best eaten the same day they are made, but they can be frozen for up to 1 month.