Flakey Scone Base

Based on the black currant recipe from the NY Times. The base can be used with many other ingredients, not just black currant and orange zest.


  • 360 g (3 cups) flour, about 100 g could be some sort of whole wheat, the rest AP flour.
  • 1 tablespoons sugar. If using zest, rub the zest of an orange of equivalent citrus into the sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (or just 1 tsp baking soda and 2 tsp cream of tartar)
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Egg wash (2 large eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
  • whatever you want in it, like 1-cup black currants, 2/4 cup 1/2-inch apples, etc


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or baking mat, or use a nonstick pan.
  3. Toss dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Although you can use a food processor to pulse the butter with the flour, I found using your fingers offers much more control and therefore flakier scone. So using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, rub butter and flour mixture together just until butter pieces are the size of peas and covered with flour.
  5. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in egg and cream. Mix ingredients together by hand until a shaggy dough is just formed and not more!
  6. Turn out onto a floured surface and gently mix in your add-ons like currants, kneading dough and currants together just until incorporated.
  7. Pat dough into a 3/4- to 1-inch-thick rectangle.
  8. Cut rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut across into 8 or 12 smaller rectangles.
  9. Place them on the baking sheet, spaced out.
  10. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with brown sugar (if using).
  11. Bake until light golden brown, about 22 minutes; rotate the pan front to back halfway through. Let scones cool slightly on the baking sheet.
  12. Serve warm or at room temperature. Eat within 24 hours or refrigerate.

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