Kick-off your weekend with these tender currant-studded scones slathered with homemade strawberry jam. This small-batch jam recipe does not require any arduous canning, as long as it is kept refrigerated and eaten within a few weeks. With scones like these around, finishing the jam will not be a problem.
Cream-Currant Scones with Quick Strawberry Jam
For the strawberry jam:
1 quart (1 lb./500 g) strawberries, stemmed, cored, and sliced
1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
For the scones:
2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, chilled, plus room temperature butter for serving
1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) dried currants
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
To make the jam, place a saucer in the freezer to chill. Have ready a small stainless steel bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water. In a saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the berries are tender and the juices thicken, about 10 minutes. To test, remove the chilled saucer from the freezer. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the strawberry liquid onto the saucer and let stand for 15 seconds. If the liquid thickens to a jamlike consistency, then the jam is ready. If not, cook for a minute or two longer. Transfer to the reserved stainless steel bowl set in the bowl of ice water and let stand until cooled and thickened.
Meanwhile, make the scones. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the 1/2 cup butter into the flour mixture just until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Stir in the currants. Pour the cream over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork or rubber spatula just until combined.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using floured hands, pat out into a round about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Using a 3-inch (7.5-cm) biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds of the dough as possible. Gather up the scraps, knead briefly, and continue patting and cutting out to make 8 scones. Place 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown, 17–20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the strawberry jam and butter on the side. Makes 8 scones.
For this and many more breakfast recipes, from the elegant to the simple and sublime, check out Rick Rodgers’s Breakfast Comforts.