Chronicle kitchen-tested recipe developed by Dai Huynh
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins (see note)
1 cup heavy cream, plus extra for brushing tops of scones
In a large bowl, sift flour, sugars, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Add butter and work in with a fork or pastry cutter. Mix until flour forms marble-size clumps. Stir in currants. Make a well in the center and pour in cream. Using a fork and your hand, mix until just combined. Wash and dry your hands, then dust them with flour.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently knead a few times to gather it into a ball. Pat the dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. With a biscuit cutter, preferably 1 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out circles close together. Gather scraps and pat back together to cut out remaining dough. With a thin spatula, transfer scones to a parchment-lined baking sheet, placing them 1 inch apart, and place in the freezer.
A half-hour before serving, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When proper temperature is reached, remove scones from freezer and brush tops with remaining cream. Bake for 12 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for 8 minutes before serving.
Note: You can replace currants or raisins with any dried fruit (apricots, cherries or blueberries). You can also add 2 tablespoons chopped nuts for additional texture and flavor. For savory scones, add 3/4 cup grated cheese or crispy bacon and 2 tablespoons chopped scallions. Cut sugar back to 1 tablespoon; increase salt to 1 teaspoon and butter to 7 tablespoons.
Makes 10 to 12 scones.