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Dried Cranberry Scones with Crystallized Sugar Crust Recipe

Course: Dessert, Snack
Total Time: Under 1 Hour
Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Inexpensive
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Dried Cranberry Scones with Crystallized Sugar Crust

Photo by: Joseph De Leo

Jerome’s grandmother never misses her four-thirty tea. Every day of her life, come late afternoon, she settles down to tea, toast, and jam. When she visits New York, she spends her afternoons at our store, and this scone becomes her teatime staple. We sprinkle it with coarse sugar, to give it texture and sparkle and a little extra sweetness to contrast with the tart cranberries. You can substitute dried sour cherries or candied lemon or orange rind for the cranberries in this recipe.

Yield: Makes 8 scones

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; plus more to flour your hands to roll out the scones
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 20 tablespoons (2½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup cold buttermilk
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon cream or milk (egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon or more granulated or raw sugar for sprinkling


1. Position your oven racks so that one is in the center, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Dump the dry ingredients into the bowl of the food processor fitted with a metal blade, and pulse to mix.

3. Add the butter to the bowl all at once, and run the food processor for 15 seconds. Switch to pulse, and continue pulsing until there are no chunks of butter left and the butter and flour are integrated into moist crumbs. Be careful not to mix the butter and flour until they form a dough or paste. Remove the blade from the food processor, and dump the crumbs into a big bowl.

4. In a separate, small bowl, whisk the eggs to break up the yolks. Whisk in the buttermilk, and use the whisk to stir in the cranberries.

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with flour-butter crumbs. Stir the dough with a wooden spoon until it just comes together and there is no trace of flour visible. You don’t want to work the dough a moment longer than necessary.

6. With a little bit of flour on your hands, scoop out a small handful (about ½ cup) of dough with your hand or a big spoon, and roll the dough until it forms a ball. Drop the dough onto your baking sheet, and press it into a 1-to-1½-inch-thick disk with the heel of one hand. Leave 2-inch spaces between the pressed disks.

7. Use a pastry brush or a scrunched-up paper towel to coat each scone with the egg wash. Sprinkle each scone with a thin layer of sugar.

8. Place the baking sheet on the center rack in the oven, and bake for 20–25 minutes, until the tops of scones are golden brown and a small knife or toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and place it on a wire rack to allow the scones to cool for a few minutes. Lift the baking sheet off the rack, and use a metal spatula to transfer the scones from the baking sheet to the rack, or directly to the dish from which you’ll be serving the scones. Serve fresh out of the oven or at room temperature.


“The dried cranberries you find in stores are sweetened. And with good reason, I learned. I tried drying my own. They were so tart I couldn’t eat them.” —Frank

© 2003 Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

532kcal (27%)
161mg (7%)
31g (48%)
19g (95%)
156mg (52%)
271mcg RAE (9%)
0mg (0%)
78mg (8%)
3mg (15%)

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