Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Almond Buttermilk Scones (an adaptation)

I have always been afraid of baking, which seems rather ironic for an engineer. The precision, my own lack of understanding of food chemistry, how different gluten free flours work…all of it scared me. (Knitting and all fiber arts frighten me, too, but that’s a story for another time.) This year of COVID-19 has changed me in that I decided to tackle this fear. (Girl’s gotta eat!) I started with muffins (yes, I will post this next) and eventually added scones to my repertoire.

As you can imagine, somewhat like my quest for a dumpling skin, it was a journey to get here. Thankfully, I found a great recipe as my base for modification!

I will walk through the tools, ingredients and methods for my gluten free scones. Please visit Trang’s original recipe for more insights. OK, no more back story — Allons y!

Tools

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Silicone baking mat (mine that has size measurements marked)
  • Silicone spatula if you have one
  • Tapioca flour (for dusting)
  • Zester
  • Juicer
  • Extra bowls for the mix-ins (mis en place is important for this recipe)
  • Dough scraper
  • Parchment paper for lining the baking sheet (whomever does your dishes will thank you…and me, if you let me know)
  • Everything else from the original recipe

Ingredients

Adaption for Scone Dough — in place of 2 cups regular AP flour:

  • 1.5 cup Gluten free all purpose flour blend (my favorites are King Arthur Baking Co. and Cup 4 Cup)
  • .5 cup Almond flour (I find that this combination keeps the dough from being gummy)
All the add-ins in one shot

For the Cranberry Orange Almond Scones:

  • Zest of 1 medium orange (~1 Tbsp)
  • 2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped orange flesh, segment skin removed (OK, I like to hand peel to keep the bits intact as much as possible. I’m a nerd.)
  • 1 Tbsp Cointreau liqueur (Grand Marnier would be amazing, too!)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds

Note that this will make the dough a lot more moist than the original. I will talk more about this in the Method section below.

Method (mainly for the add-ins):

  • Follow the original recipe for putting all the dry ingredients in one bowl (adapted version here, of course) and all the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry — notice that our dough will look looser than the original. If you’re making the adaptation without the mix-in, skip down to where I talk about how to make the dough “tighter”.

Prepping the add-ins:

  • Put the dried cranberries in a small bowl
  • Zest your orange over the cranberries so you get the orange oil (aroma) into the scones
  • Put the zest into the bowl
  • Also add the orange juice and liqeur
  • Give the cranberries, orange and liqeur a quick mix to incorporate and let the flavors develop. This will also start to hydrate the cranberries so that they are plump and juicy in your scones.

After the base scone dough has come together (wet ingredients into dry and folded to integrate), add the cranberry orange mixture into the bowl and quickly fold in.

Notice the cranberries have absorbed some of the liquid!
Adding the orange flesh.
The dough is a little too moist at this stage.
  • Now to add in the sliced almonds, which will absorb a little bit of the liquid.
So pretty! I love almonds.
Everything has been added. Dough is a little moist.

Question: what do you do if your dough is too moist and you don’t want it to flatten out in the oven?

Answer: Add 1 Tbsp of Almond flour and incorporate. Add 1 more if you think it needs it.

Now for prepping the work surface and making the scones.

Tapioca flour is the best dusting flour that won’t change the texture of your dough. I’m not dainty with dusting (as you can see).

Per the original recipe, put the dough onto the work surface. I still go through the motion of folding but instead of rolling out, I use the spatula to flatten out. The little bit of tapioca flour folded into the dough will help create layers in the scones as they bake.

Slightly bigger than the 8 inch diameter ring on my baking mat

Follow the original recipe for oven temperature. Notes for this GF adaptation:

  • Do not add egg wash at the beginning of the bake.
  • Check on the scones mid-bake. I usually do this at the 10 minute mark. You will see that the scones have risen quite a bit and they may have spread out slightly. Use the spatula to shape the sides back to triangular slices.
Ready for the egg wash at the end of the bake!
  • Add egg wash after 20 minutes and let the scones bake for another 3–5 minutes. Don’t worry. They will not dry out.
The marks on the parchment are from the mid-bake shaping of the scones.

That is it. Enjoy! Let me know how your turn out!

Systems engineer for complex aerospace systems. Alto with the Seattle Symphony Chorale since 2012. God, food, wine, coffee, music and culture lover since day 1.

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