Thursday, February 28, 2013

Candied Citrus Scones

I’m swamped with editing wedding photos from my dear friend Kelli’s wedding (350 down.... only 100 to go!), but I still wanted to share these wonderful candied citrus scones.

When I lived in Charleston, one of my favorite downtown spots was a store on John Street called Macaron Boutique.  They had amazing macarons (of course), and breakfast pastries, like an almond pain au chocolat (!) and candied citrus scones.

I haven’t been up for trying to make my own laminated doughs at home here in TX yet (I simply don’t have the space in our overstuffed apartment freezer), but I do make scones quite often.

After making the citrus granita, I found myself with a good amount of citrus peel.  I couldn’t bear to simply throw it away.  Instead, I candied it.

Candied citrus is fabulous, all on it’s own, rolled in granulated sugar or even dipped in chocolate. But I decided at least part the citrus should go into a batch of scones & be reminiscent of my favorite Macaron Boutique candied citrus scones.

I candied just the rind of the lemon, the cara cara oranges, and the Minneola Tangelo knowing that the lime & the grapefruit flavors may be a bit too strong for the scones.

My stand-by scone recipe, which I’ve posted previously about with the Zucchini Scones  and the Bittersweet Chocolate & Cherry Scones, was easily adapted for the chopped candied zest addition and for my substitution of gluten free flour.

Usually, I’m a big fan of glazed scones (I do have an insatiable sweet tooth), but Macaron Boutique doesn’t glaze theirs.  They sprinkle the scones, prior to baking, with a coarse sanding sugar instead. The sugar melts slightly in the oven & forms a nice crunchy, slightly sweet crust.  I promise, you won’t even miss the glaze!

After the photoshoot & a few taste tests, these scones became interstate travelers. I packed them as a quick and easy breakfast option while I drove from TX to ND.  The were a welcome, much more gourmet item than anything I could have found at any of our gas station pit stops.


Citrus Peel (I used 1 lemon, 2 cara cara oranges, and 1 Mineola Tangelo)
16 fl oz Water, plus additional for blanching
2c/14 oz Sugar
splash lemon juice

  1.  Cut the citrus peel (rind & pith) into long strips (or alternately, into small bits, but I prefer to chop the peel after it’s been candied).  
  2. Place the strips into a non-reactive, stainless steel sauce pan.  Cover with water.  Bring the pan to a boil over high heat & allow to boil briefly.  Drain off the water. 
  3. Re-cover with fresh water & repeat the boiling process until the peel has been blanched 3 times.  This three process blanching will remove most of the bitterness from the peel and pith.  If you leave the citrus pieces in very wide strips, you may want to blanch it a 4th time. 
  4. Return the blanched peel to the same sauce pan.  Add the sugar, water & splash of lemon juice.  Stir briefly to combine.  
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer & allow the peel to simmer until tender and almost translucent, 60-80 minutes.  Do not stir.  Do not allow the sugar syrup to caramelize. 
  6. Remove from the heat & cool.  
  7. Store the candied citrus, in the liquid, in the refrigerator until ready to use.  

Note: any leftover candying liquid would be wonderful added to a cocktail!


4 oz (1 stick) Butter, cold
2 c Flour (I used AP Gluten Free Mix)
1/4 c Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 heaping cup Candied Citrus, chopped
2/3 c Buttermilk
Coarse Sanding Sugar, for garnish

  1. Using a box grater, grate the butter onto a plastic-wrap-lined plate.  Transfer the butter to the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the butter is hard.  
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Line to baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  
  4. Gently toss the frozen butter shards, by hand, with the dry ingredients, working quickly so that the heat of your hands does not melt the butter.  
  5. Add the chopped citrus peel & stir until just combined.  
  6. Add the buttermilk & mix quickly with your hands.  Work the dough only until the mixture comes together & there are not pockets of dry ingredients. 
  7. Divide the dough in half.  Shape the first half into a ball, then flatten into a disk.  Place the disk onto a lightly floured surface.  Use a bench cutter or knife to cut the disk into 8 triangles.  
  8. Place the triangles onto the parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with a little coarse sanding sugar.  
  9. Repeat the process with the second disk of dough.  
  10. Bake the scones for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  
  11. Cool slightly & serve. 
  12. Leftovers will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.  To re-crisp leftover scones (or to reheat), place into a low temp oven until heated through.  Please don’t microwave :)  

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