The Cheeseboard’s Currant Scones

It’s not really possible to eat low fat all the time, not without missing out on something really tasty every once in a while, so even if your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier, just keep in mind that eating healthier doesn’t have to mean excluding everything that could be described as “decadent.” It just means eating less of those items. Really good scones usually get that way because of the liberal use of butter and cream, so it is best to eat just one, but do take that one because you’ll be missing out if you’re never had a really good scone.This recipe is from the The Cheeseboard in Berkeley, easily one of the best – not to mention one of the most interesting – bakeries in the SF bay area. It is a collective, so all the workers are part owners of the bakery and basically seem like one big family. The Cheeseboard sells everything from baguettes to sticky buns depending on what day of the week and time of day it is, but everything they sell is excellent. This scone, although fairly simple, is one of their best sellers. It was their “original” scone and on a busy Saturday, the tiny shop can sell through over 500 of them.
The scones are moist, flavorful and tender, with a nice, but slight, crispness to the outside. Dried currants are more easily found at natural foods and gourmet stores, but if you cannot find them at all, use small, dark raisins.

Oh, and Happy New Year, everyone!

Currant Scones
(from The Cheese Board: Collective Works)
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup dried currants
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup buttermilk

coarse sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.
Add in butter, toss to coat, and rub in with your fingers (or a pastry cutter, if you prefer) until only pea-sized chunks remain.
Stir in currants, then add the cream and buttermilk, mixing only until the ingredients just come together into a ball. It is ok if there is a little flour left at the bottom of the bowl.
Divide dough into 12 balls (about 2-in in diameter, although the cheeseboard’s seem to be larger in the shop) and dip the top of each in coarse sugar before placing on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 12.

15 comments

  1. Nicole,

    I was looking at this very recipe this weekend! I love that cookbook and hopefully I can get to the store the next time I’m in CA!

    Ivonne

  2. Hi Nic, love ur blog!! hee..I’m very new at baking and I’ve alot to learn from you!
    Btw, does it matter whether we use bleached or unbleached flour? what’s the difference?
    Can we just use self-raising flour! TIA! =)

  3. Ample butter and ample cream. I bet these are great. After a particularly wonderful scone at a breakfast place in Seattle, I decided 2007 should be the year a make a lot of scones. They are my pastry of choice.

  4. Hapy New Year!

    The scones look delicious.

  5. These look really great. I bet they smell amazing while they are baking.

    I visit this blog all the time and I wanted to let you know that I have added bakingsheet as a favorite on my foodie blog: rachel’s bite.

  6. Baby lala – It does not matter whether you used bleached or unbleached flour. You cannot use self-rising because, unlike all purpose, it already has salt and leavening agents in it.

  7. Yummy looking scones, Nic – and Happy New Years!

  8. Well said. As the Galloping Gourmet purported responded to a fan who questioned his liberal use of butter and cream, “Madame, you could go outside and get run over by a bus and just think what you would have missed!” All foods are fine in moderation.

    - Chubbypanda

  9. Nic, thank you for sharing this recipe! I never tried a Cheeseboard scone until after I left Berkeley, but when I did, I was amazed — it was the best scone I’d ever had.

  10. I’m scone obsessed. I’m going to England next month and plan to eat at least one scone every day. :-) Now I also want to go to Berkeley! Will have to make these.

    FYI — I noticed that this recipe wasn’t filed under scones.

  11. Oh, man — I’ve been visiting this weblog for a couple of years now but never realized that you had this recipe up! I live in Berkeley and am an ardent lover of the Cheeseboard. Thank you for putting up this recipe; I’ll probably pick up the book on my next trip to the shop.

  12. I love reading about the different experiences with scones. I am also a lover of scones and have decided to open a small business just selling scones. However, I’ve run into a big dilemma. The location where I’m now baking to sell only has a convection oven. What a difference in the texture!!!Much drier! Any suggestions using this type of oven?

  13. Hey

    Really glad to get into this forum
    It’s what I am looking for.
    Hope to know more member here.

  14. messerror

  15. Good scone but dough is too wet to handle.

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