2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (50 grams) fine cornmeal
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1 cup (100 grams) currants
1 cup (240 ml) half & half cream, milk, or whipping cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cornmeal Scones: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Add the currants to the flour mixture and stir well. In a small measuring cup whisk together the cream, egg, and vanilla extract. Add this to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 1 1/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. 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 little cream.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 8 scones.
I love a good scone. This Cornmeal Scone, as its name implies, contains cornmeal which adds a pleasing hint of nuttiness and grittiness. They are baked in a hot oven which gives the scones a crisp outside crust yet inside they are still nice and tender. Currants, which are dried tiny dark seedless Zante grapes, are also added to these scones. They have a sweet flavor that is excellent in baked goods. If they are nice and soft nothing needs to be done before adding them to the scone dough. But if they are a little hard and dry, you may want to soften them first in water, orange juice, or even rum or brandy, before adding them to the scones.
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. They contain just 1/3 cup (50 grams) of cornmeal to 2 cups (280 grams) of flour. But that is all the cornmeal it takes to give these scones the taste and texture of cornmeal. These scones are also unique in that they do not have any butter in them. Instead, they contain extra liquid, in the form of cream, which gives them 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 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. I mention stone ground cornmeal because that is what I like to use in this recipe although regular fine ground cornmeal is perfectly good. When buying cornmeal make sure to check the expiration date on the container and store in a cool dry place.