Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ma Gosnell's Buttermilk Scones with Raisins

Recipes that have been passed down from one generation to another are ones that have stood the test of time. And for good reason. They're fool-proof and fabulous, like this warm and delicious Buttermilk Scone recipe from my friend Cory, who's Mom has been making them for her family on their southern Ontario country farm for years. The epitome of efficient baking, 'Ma' Gosnell's secret is making up a batch of 'master mix' ahead of time, and using it as the base for her Buttermilk Scones, Pancakes and Tea Biscuits. Cory made these light, warm and delicious scones this past weekend, with a bowl of butter and homemade Rhubarb & Strawberry Compote, for the ultimate morning treat!

Ma Gosnell's Buttermilk Scones with Raisins
Makes 16 scones

Master Mix:
10 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup baking powder
1 tbsp salt
1 lb (2 1/3 cups) Crisco shortening, cut into small cubes

2 1/2 cups master mix, loosely packed
1/3 cup white sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cups raisins
1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 egg yolk

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl or standing mixer. Gradually add the shortening until the mixture looks like coarse meal. This can be stored in a closed container at room temperature for a couple of weeks.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and raisins with 2 1/2 cups of master mix. Add the eggs and milk, and mix until it all becomes well incorporated and moistened. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead 20 times. Divide the mixture in half and place each portion into a 1/2-inch thick circles and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Cut each circle into eighths, but do not separate.

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk with 1 tsp of sugar and whisk briefly. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg-sugar mixture, and bake in the oven until the top are slightly golden and the scones are cooked, about 12-15 minutes. To serve, break the scones apart into wedges where they were scored, and slather generously with butter and fresh preserves. Yum!

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