My husband and I disagree about when our first date actually happened. I argue that we never went on any dates until after we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. My husband maintains that a trip we made to Levain Bakery in our sophomore year in college counts as the first date. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, our plans to make the trip with friends turned into the two of us taking the 1-train from Columbia down Broadway to 72nd street. Sitting and talking in Verdi Square, we shared an oatmeal-raisin scone as well as their famously thick and gooey chocolate-chip-walnut cookie. Even though I didn’t consider it to be at the time, I think that we can retroactively call that a date!
The occasion for us to share scones once again this past weekend was far less ambiguous: I was just trying to get my husband out of bed on a weekend morning!
These scones started with my usual inspiration: I bought an ingredient on sale and needed to figure out how to use copious amounts of it. I had procured a container of Vermont Creamery crème fraîche for a bargain and set my heart on making scones with it. I had found recipes for cranberry scones and dried apricot scones but I thought, surely, I can do something more creative… so I went rummaging in the pantry for inspiration. I pulled out a bag of dried mangoes that had been gifted to me and my husband on our last trip to Taiwan.
I whipped up the scones, and added in the fruity components. As my dried mango was-shockingly- quite dry, I decided to “plump” the mango bits by soaking them in water for an hour prior to use. This is a nice step to take whenever baking with dried fruits like dried cranberries, and alternative liquids such as fruit juices or liquors can be employed for plumping.
As pictured above, the mango scones on the left are significantly more wet-looking, so I was afraid that they would become mushy blobs while being baked. However, as pictured below, you can see that they were just as successful as their cranberry counterparts on the left.
Clearly I’m not a master at shaping scones yet, but these scones pulled off the feat of summoning my husband from his sleep on a weekend morning! Right after pulling them from the oven, I dolloped on what remained of the crème fraîche and served it with a side of Taiwanese tea.
This basic scone recipe offers the baker a choice of dairy product to employ; not sure if you want to make your scones using crème fraîche or sour cream? Check out this article from The Kitchn which succinctly describes the differences. Happy baking!
Recipe: Mango Scones
Basic scone recipe from BON APPÉTIT magazine
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3-4 ounces of dried mango
2 large eggs
2/3 cup chilled crème fraîche or sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional: If mango is semi-moist and cuts easily, then skip this. If mango seems at all tough then plump them by submerging in water for an hour beforehand.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture resembles fine meal.
Separate 1 egg; place white in small bowl and reserve. Place yolk in medium bowl.
Whisk whole egg, crème fraîche and vanilla into yolk.
Gently stir crème fraîche mixture into flour mixture (dough will be very moist).
Chop mango into very small pieces and mix into the dough.
Turn dough out onto generously floured work surface. Divide dough in half.
Press each half into 6-inch round about 1/2 inch thick. Cut each round into 6 wedges.
Beat reserved white until foamy; brush over wedges. Transfer wedges to baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart.
Bake scones until pale golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Serve scones warm or at room temperature.
Top with a dollop of crème fraîche or clotted cream. Serve with a hot beverage.