Apricot Scones

If you’re interested in molecular gastronomy, you need look no further than baking. When cooking the results can be spectacular, but they almost always resemble the original ingredients; a raw steak and cooked steak both look like steak. But when baking flour, sugar, butter and eggs come together to form something that is much more than the some of its parts. I believe that the first person to mix these together and bake a cake was a genius.

Baking is about about proportions; the right combination of ingredients will lead to something magical. Each ingredient plays a part. The flour mixed with liquids form gluten that traps air bubbles and gives baked goods their texture. The sugar sweetens but it also adds air to the batter, contributes to browning and stops the gluten from getting too tough. Butter tenderizes and moistens.

I know all these things.

Yet somehow I still manage to mess things up.

On Sunday I decided to make banana bread. I’ve made banana bread so many times I no longer even look at a recipe. I mixed up all my ingredients put them in the oven and waited. And waited. And waited. The bread never rose, the top never browned. After about an hour and a half (the bread should only have taken an hour) I thought back on my steps and realized I had forgotten the sugar. I kept baking because I thought maybe the sugars in the bananas would somehow save it. They didn’t. When the bread wasn’t cooked through after two hours I gave up.

I’ve made this mistake before and I’m sure I’ll make it again. I wasn’t fazed, just upset at the wasted ingredients.

This morning I got up with the intention of making scones. I found a recipe from a reputable source and gave it a try. I tried even though the voice in my head said it was off. “There’s too much sugar, too much flour, not enough butter” the voice said; I ignored it. “The oven isn’t hot enough” she told me; I didn’t listen. I added more liquid to compensate for the dryness, popped them in the oven and waited. When they came out of the oven they were like overly sweetened hockey pucks.

Another failure. Had a I lost my baking mojo?

I couldn’t let this second failure get to me.

I went through my boxes and found the scone recipe I’ve always used in a pile of papers. As I read it knew this was right. Just enough flour; very little sugar; and a hot, hot oven. I started again.

Thankfully, my baking mojo is not lost. I needed to trust myself, that’s all.

This recipe is a little different than the typical scone recipe, in that it has eggs. This makes them a little more cakey, less biscuit like, but still a little flaky and layered. I used dried apricot in the scones, but anything could be added, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips. They can also be flavoured any way you’d like; spices, lemon zest, rose water.. the possibilities are endless!

Apricot Scones

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar (plus more for sprinkling on tops)
  • 6 tbsp butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup roughly chopped dried apricots
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F
  2. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and milk together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the butter to the dry ingredients, then using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until there a few pea sized pieces of butter.
  4. Pour the milk into the flour and stir together with a fork until just combined, then stir in the dried apricots. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a disk, about 1 inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter or a glass, cut circles of dough and place them on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle the tops of the scones with sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the tops are browned.
  6. Serve with your favourite jam or fruit butter.

36 thoughts on “Apricot Scones

  1. I wrote a post similar to this a while ago — baking definitely is chemistry. That being said, I’m much better at baking than I ever was at chemistry chemistry. :)

    I’ve been on a serious scone kick lately and these look great. My favorite bakery makes the best apricot scones — yours look very similar. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It’s almost midnight, and now I’ve got a craving for scones and tea. Sigh.
    This recipe sounds absolutely perfect, especially with apricots mixed in. I often add eggs to my scones, too… it feels like they come out richer and more tender that way.
    BTW, the photos for this post are simply gorgeous – they feel calm and contemplative, just like tea with scones ought to be!

    1. Thanks, Isabelle! I’ve been trying to learn how to really use my camera, these were the first pics I posted that I shot on manual. I’m glad you like them!

  3. I like this post. There is a lot of science in cooking and baking especially. You ofter hear people say that when baking you need to measure the ingredients very precisely, but that won’t help if the recipe is off. When you understand a bit of the science and trust your feelings you can sometimes avoid mistakes.

  4. So sad when a recipe fails. It’s always nice to try a new recipe or technique, but at least you had a good base recipe to fall back on! Love the apricots in the scones!

  5. Forgetting sugar is SO something I would do! In fact, check out my latest about what I didn’t put into my red velvet cakes!!! As for the first batch of scones, I am sorry the recipe steered you wrong, that’s frustrating. But the second batch look amazing!

  6. I’m so glad you didn’t give up because these scones look fabulous! I adore apricot everything…and think my next scones will be just like yours. Beautiful~

  7. I hate when my baking mojo is off or when I make something, like banana bread and it’s a waste. Seriously, it PAINS me!!! Your scones look wonderful, and I’m glad your mojo is back ;)

  8. love the photos! I know the feeling when you’re making something and you know its just not going to come out right. I hate it even more so when it has to do with baking because it takes so much longer. At least flour and eggs are not too expensive when ruined. But i guess the 3rd times a charm. I’m glad these came out so well, they look delicious, i have a brunch menu coming to mind i’ll save this recipe for when i decided to have brunch! thanks for the inspiration

  9. Recently started a food blog and made some peach scones – similar looking to these – enjoyed with some lemon curd spread which might be tasty on these as well, so I am going to have to try! great photos!

    1. Just baked these little babies, but there was no mention of where to add the apricots in the directions? I actually used whole wheat flour + 2 tablespoons cornstarch while sifting. And instead of apricots, used apricot applesauce (about 1/2 cup). They are delicious!

      1. You’re right, I missed a step in the instructions. I added the dried apricots with the wet ingredients.Thanks for letting me know!

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