Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
Roll the dough into 6" circles, about 1/2-inch thick and cut into wedges.
Lightly brush the scones with cream, immediately before baking.
Black Pepper Scones
Makes 18 scones
I love the flavor of fresh black pepper in scones. But, if you prefer, 1 cup of dried blueberries, sour cherries or raisins can be used instead of the pepper to make a fruitier, sweeter scone.
4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
13 tablespoons (6-1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1-1/2 tablespoons medium grind black pepper
2-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon peel
1-1/2 cups heavy cream plus 2 tablespoons for brushing
Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently stir in the pepper and lemon peel. Add the 1-1/2 cups cream all at once and mix until the dough just comes together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough into a ball. For a flakier consistency, do not knead the dough into a smooth ball. If smooth, the scone will be more cakelike. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, keeping the other two pieces covered, roll out to a circle, 6 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick.* Cut the circle into 6 wedges and arrange the wedges on one or two baking trays lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly brush the scones with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes.
*The scones can be cut out with a 2-1/2-inch cookie cutter if desired. Roll out the dough, cut, and place on a baking tray. Reroll the dough and continue cutting out circles. Proceed as in step 5.
Serve warm with butter and jam if you like it.
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