These scones, as all perfect cream scones should be, are light and tender inside, crispy outside, and full of flavor throughout. I like making them in advance and freezing unbaked. I bake the scones close to serving time without defrosting, getting the freshest warm pastries quickly and effortlessly.
Makes about 12-14
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 oz Crimini mushrooms (or white button), sliced vertically into 1/4-inch slices
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 small yellow onions, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch thick rings, concentric rings intact.
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup stone-ground whole-wheat flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 ½ oz (4 tbsp + 1 ½ tsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 ¼ cups cold heavy cream + more for brushing the top of the scones
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Fleur de sel for sprinkling
- Small sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish
In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, add the sherry, and return to the stove. Evaporate the liquid over high heat, for about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the chopped thyme, cool. Can be made a day in advance and kept, covered, in the refrigerator.
Heat ¼ cup of olive oil over low heat in the same large sauté pan. Add the onion rings in a single layer (you’ll need to cook them in 2 to 3 batches), cover the sauté pan and cook until slightly softened but not colored, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Using a thin spatula, carefully transfer the onions to a baking sheet or flat platter to cool, keeping the rings intact. Pour the remaining oil into a measuring cup and add more to equal ¼ cup to be used for the dough. Cool and chill the oil.
Center the oven rack and preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat. Put the lined baking sheet into another to protect the bottom of the scones from the high heat.
To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine well. Add the butter cubes and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the mixture until it is evenly distributed and no large pieces of butter are visible. Add the mushrooms and stir with a fork. Combine the cream and ¼ cup of olive oil in a glass measuring cup, whisk. Add to the dry ingredient and stir with the fork until the dough comes together.
Coat your hands with some flour and pull the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead the dough lightly, folding and flattening it several times. Pat or roll the dough into a circle, slightly thicker than 1/2-inch. Cut out 2-inch circles, cutting as close together as possible. Don’t twist the cutter and press it hard down to cut through the mushrooms. Gather the scraps, pat and press the pieces back together, cut out more circles. Transfer the scones onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart.
Brush the tops with some cream, place an onion ring on the top of each scone, gently pressing it down with the fingertips. Sprinkle each scone with a pinch of fleur de sel and poke a sprig of thyme into the center (making a small hole with a toothpick first helps).
Bake until firm to the touch and nicely browned, for about 35 minutes. Cool on a rack until warm, serve.
The recipe is adapted from Nancy Silverton’s.