This Cornmeal Scone,
as its name implies, contains cornmeal which adds a pleasing hint of nuttiness
and a little crunch. They are baked in a hot oven which turns the
outside crust golden brown and crisp, yet inside they are soft and tender. I
like to stir some currants, which are dried tiny dark seedless Zante grapes,
into the dough for sweetness. If the currants are nice and soft,
nothing needs to be done before adding them to the scone dough. But if they are
a little old, that is, they've become hard and dry, you may want to first soften them in water, orange juice,
or even rum or brandy, before adding them to the dough.
A Cornmeal Scone is different than Cornmeal Bread
which contains lots of cornmeal and just a little flour. Cornmeal Scones
are the other way around, more flour than cornmeal. Yet these scones still
taste and texture of cornmeal. This scone is also unique in that it
contains no butter. Instead, extra liquid is added, in the
form of cream, which gives the scone a rich flavor with a crumbly texture while
still being tender and moist.
Cornmeal is made from corn kernels that have been
dried and ground. It is known as Polenta in Italy and Maize Meal in other
parts of the world. It comes in different colors (white or yellow) and
textures with 'stone ground' cornmeal having a coarser grind. Whereas
regular cornmeal is made from corn that has had its germ removed during
the milling process, 'stone ground' cornmeal uses the entire grain. This
gives it a more pronounced nutty toasted corn flavor and crunchy texture.
Use whatever type of cornmeal you like in this recipe. When
buying cornmeal make sure to check the expiration date on the container
and store in a cool dry place.
Cornmeal Scones: Preheat
your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place
the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment
In a large
bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange
zest. Stir in the currants.
Add 3/4 cup (180 ml/grams) of
the cream, the beaten egg, and the vanilla extract (if using). Stir
just until the dough comes together and the flour is completely moistened. Add more cream if needed.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and
dough gently four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a 7 inch (18 cm) round. Cut this
circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles).
Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a
for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the
middle of a scone comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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