Mrs. McCarthy’s Award-Winning Strawberry Scones

2 cups sifted cake flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

6 T. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 tsp. orange or lemon zest

1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries OR 1 3-oz. pkg. Melissa’s dried strawberries 

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup heavy cream

Heavy Cream

Sanding Sugar  (All I had was pink, Mrs. M. would not have approved!)

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. If using fresh strawberries, allow to drain on a paper towel-lined plate while you prepare the dough.

In the work bowl of a food processor combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, and lemon zest.  Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal; empty mixture into a large bowl. (If using dried strawberries, add them now and toss to coat.)

In a small mixing bowl whisk together egg, cream, and vanilla flavoring.  When thoroughly blended, pour it over the flour mixture in the large bowl and fold until it just comes together.  Add 1-3 more teaspoons of cream, if needed.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. If using fresh strawberries, scatter them on top and, with floured hands, fold the dough over the berries and knead lightly 4-5 times. Press into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cut out rounds with a 2" biscuit cutter and arrange 2 inches apart on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Gather scraps together and cut out additional scones.

Brush tops of scones with cream and sprinkle liberally with sanding sugar. Bake scones, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving.

Makes 8-10