Scones were the first thing that come to mind when I made prickly pear jelly.  I had just found a recipe online for tea scones and thought they would be perfect with my jelly.  Honestly, I could eat scones every day of the week with their slightly sweetened dough and crunchy texture.  Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a biscuit and a scone.  They are quite similar but a scone has an egg added to the dough while a biscuit does not.  Who wouldn’t want to pry one apart and add a spoonful of your favorite jelly or jam.  One thing I’ve learned since we moved to a higher altitude is that recipes with a leavening agent need to be adjusted.  Here in Albuquerque we are above 5000 ft. sea level where Kansas City is below 1000 ft. sea level.  My cookies and scones were expanding way too much so decreasing the baking soda or baking powder became necessary.  Also I have experienced having to alter the amount of wet ingredients to dry when making a dough.  Our dry climate makes it sometimes necessary to add additional liquids to bind the dough together.  Something I need to remember when baking!

In one bowl mix together dry ingredients including flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Another bowl whisk together the buttermilk and egg.  And lately whenever I make scones I cut the butter into small cubes.  In the end it saves me time.

Mix the butter in with the dry ingredients.  A few turns of the pastry cutter and your ready to add the wet ingredients.  Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and add the buttermilk egg mixture.  Use a wooden spoon to fold and mix in the dry mixture until the dough starts to form.  I had a problem incorporating all the dry mix into the dough.  If this happens to you, add a little more buttermilk maybe a tablespoon at a time until you can incorporate all the dry mix into the dough.

Sprinkle a work surface with flour.

Roll out the dough to a 3/4 thickness and use a biscuit cutter to cut the round scones.  Bind the leftover scraps into a ball and roll out to cut the remaining scones.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare two 8 inch baking pans with butter.  Set the scones in the dish giving a little bit of space on the sides for expanding.

Brush the tops with buttermilk. Bake for 9 minutes, then turn the scones and bake an additional 9 – 10 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.

When they come out of the oven they are warm and flaky.

And taste so good with your favorite jelly or jam.

Tea Scones (adapted from Christina’s Cucina)

2 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 tablespoons Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1/3 cup Butter, (cold and cut into small cubes)
1 Egg
1/2 cup Buttermilk plus 1 – 2 tablespoons more if needed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.  Add the cold cubed butter in with the dry ingredients and cut in with a pastry blender until the butter is no larger than pea size.  In another bowl, whisk the egg and buttermilk together.  Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the buttermilk/egg mixture into the center.  Use a wooden spoon to mix together until it forms into a dough.  If needed add an additional 1 – 2 tablespoons buttermilk.

Sprinkle flour on a work surface and roll out dough to 3/4 inch thick.  Use a biscuit cutter to cut round scones.  Any leftover dough can be reused, just bind together, roll out and cut.  Butter two 8 inch round baking dishes.  Place cut scones in the dish with enough room to expand.  Brush buttermilk over the tops of each scone.  Place in oven and bake for 9 minutes.  Turn the scones around and bake an additional 9 – 10 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.

Remove scones from baking dish to a cooling rack.  Serve with your favorite jelly or jam.  Makes approximately 12 scones.