Philacatessen | Peach Scones

Three scones next to two peaches
Peach scones (Photos by Keri White)

I’m a sucker for any recipe that delivers a shortcut, uses ingredients that otherwise might go to waste and, of course, that tastes good. This one checks all three boxes.

Most scones require a pastry cutter or other means of mixing the fat into the flour, and also necessitate rolling out the dough and cutting out the scones. Two strikes.

This lovely version uses heavy cream in place of butter, which mixes easily with a wooden spoon, and I make these as “drop scones,” which are exactly what they sound like — you drop blobs of dough onto the baking sheet with a spoon or your hands, and into the oven they go.

Finally, they use peaches that might be a bit past their prime, or perhaps have a less-than-ideal texture as we move later into the growing season, and the fruit is past its peak.

The use of cake flour delivers a light and lovely texture, but if you don’t have any on hand, all purpose will do just fine. Sifting will bring a lighter texture, but this, too, is optional. If you don’t have peaches, you can swap any other addition — blueberries, strawberries, raisins, nuts, chopped apples, chocolate chips or nothing at all.  These are best right out of the oven, or on the same day they are baked.

These are traditional English scones, meaning they are not particularly sweet. The idea is they are slathered with jam or clotted cream or lemon curd. If you prefer a sweeter scone, increase the sugar to ¾ cup.

balls of dough on a parchment lined trayPeach Scones

Makes 1 dozen

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1½ tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar (or more, if a sweeter scone is desired), plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup chopped ripe peaches, with juice, either 1 large or 2 small (see note below on trick to peel)

Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the cream, egg and vanilla, and mix well.

Add the peaches and fold into the dough.

Using two large spoons, or your hands dusted with flour, scoop 12 equal portions of dough and place on baking tray.

Brush with cream, sprinkle with sugar and bake about 18 minutes until just starting to brown.

Note: To peel peaches easily, bring a pot to boil; insert a peach in boiling water for about 20 seconds until the skin splits. Remove and immerse immediately into cold water. Slide the peel off with your hands and chop or use as desired.


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