Cranberry-Tangerine Scones

by Lori on December 2, 2010

I know.  I know.  It’s another recipe involving cranberries.  But when I saw tangerines at my local Trader Joe’s last week, I grabbed a bag and knew that my favorite Cranberry-Tangerine Scones would definitely be making an appearance in my kitchen.  I didn’t think you’d mind if I shared another cranberry recipe.

So let’s talk about the recipe.

It’s an easy one, and I could probably stop right there.  But there’s more.  These scones are not overly sweet, which is the way they should be.  They take only 12 minutes to bake.  They require dried cranberries, making them more accessible once fresh cranberries disappear from the markets.  And their tangerine flavor is such a welcomed change from the customary orange that is so often paired with cranberry.  I’m not knocking the cranberry-orange marriage; it’s a good one and you could definitely go that route.  But the tangerine is so much better.

Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe is zesting the little tangerines and using every ounce of restraint you have to keep yourself from inhaling every single one of these beauties.  It’s a good thing the recipe only makes eight scones.

By the way, these scones freeze very well.  If that fact alone doesn’t scream Christmas morning to you, I don’t know what will.

You could do this by hand, and that is the way the original recipe was written, but I used my stand mixer.  Add your dry ingredients, tangerine zest and cold, diced butter.  Turn mixer on low speed to get things going and then increase the speed slightly and allow the butter to reduce to the size of large peas.  Stop the mixer.  Add the dried cranberries.  Mix briefly or toss by hand.  Do not overwork the butter and flour mixture.  Keeping the butter in pea-sized pieces will make your scones tender and flaky like a biscuit.

Uh…I got distracted between photographing the steps and talking to my daughter who was helping me.  I forgot to add the dried cranberries before adding in the wet ingredients.  Don’t do this.  Make sure your cranberries are in before you add your wet ingredients  which consist of egg, sour cream and tangerine juice.  Mix them together in a small bowl.  Add them all at once to the dry ingredients and mix until the dough is moist and clumpy.  There will be some sandy parts on the bottom and you will incorporate those by hand in the next step.

On a lightly floured board, pour out the dough, and knead it a few times to bring it all together.  Press into an 8 inch circle.  Because of my foul up, I added my cranberries here.

Cut into 8 wedges.

Place wedges onto a silicone mat or parchment lined baking sheet.

Melt a couple tablespoons of butter and spread over each dough wedge.

Then sprinkle each one with turbinado sugar.  You could use granulated sugar, but I really like the little crunch from the turbinado sugar.  Pop the sheet pan into a 425 degree F preheated oven.

After 12 minutes, pull the baking sheet out of the oven and remove scones to a rack to cool.  Give them a chance to cool.  It will be hard to wait, but you should give them about 15 minutes to cool.  They will be slightly warm in the middle, but they are perfect at room temperature as well.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!

Cranberry-Tangerine Scones
Recipe from Bon Appetit December 2001 via

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons tangerine zest
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
3 tablespoons fresh tangerine juice
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons raw sugar (also called turbinado or demerara sugar)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add flour, 1/3 cup sugar, tangerine zest, baking powder, and salt.  Mix on low to incorporate all ingredients.  Add 1/2 cup chilled butter and begin to mix on low until mixture resembles course meal and butter is about the size of large peas.  Mix in cranberries.  Do not over work the dough.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream, tangerine juice and egg.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until moist clumps form.  Remove dough from mixer and place on lightly floured board.  Knead briefly until dough is smooth and pat dough into an 8-inch round.  Cut into 8 equal wedges.  Transfer to prepared baking sheet, spacing apart.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  (Can be made up to 1 month ahead and frozen if cooled completely, individually wrapped in aluminum foil and allowed to defrost at room temperature before serving.)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jatwitch December 12, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Way better than many of the well known coffee shops who offer a variety of pastries including scones. I do love scones, especially scones with some type of fruit in them, and this on e is awesome fresh from the oven and with a cup of coffee; a great way to begin the day, or end, which ever suits you best. This one in particular I have to stake my claim for early in the day within my house since it is also a favorite of the kids. Try it, you won't be dissappointed!


Alina January 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Those scones are absolutely mouth watering, mark my words (from a fellow french food blogger)
All the best!


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