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Before we moved my husband and I would spend our Sunday mornings biking into a nearby neighborhood to wander through the farmers market, picking out flowers and vegetables from each vendor. It became a routine to pick up a cappuccino for both of us and a scone for me, Paul getting a few bites of his own if I was feeling generous. It ws a treat I looked forward to each Sunday and I made it a point to pick out one among the various bakery vendors each weekend. After moving into our new house that farmers market is no longer nearby, but my search for a Sunday scone is still an important ritual. I’ve tested a few from the local bakeries and have to admit that there is some good scone competition going on in the neighborhood, but one of the benefits of moving into a home with a citrus tree is that your baking ingredients are waiting in the backyard almost forcing you to make something homemade. Around town right now you can smell the intoxicating scent of citrus blooms popping up on each tree. The little white buds become most fragrant in the late afternoons and I’ve made it a point to spend time on the patio taking in the floral air. Just outside the kitchen window is a sturdy orange tree that shades the backyard and is beginning to produce perfectly round little oranges that are filled with fresh juice. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bake something using the ingredients found around our new home so this past weekend and pulled a few from the branches and started to make a batch of my own Sunday scones. I stood next to the window as I zested and juiced the oranges, combine them with tart cranberries, and mixed them into a sticky batter of cold butter, milk, and flour. The white blossom scent was still blowing into the house until the smell was replaced with the warm scent of scones in the oven.

After we moved into our house everyone joked that the weekends would be spent at the hardware store picking up things for the latest DIY attempt, but I refused to believe them. Our weekends were supposed to be sans work and labor, but while the majority of the day is still spent doing just that, our new routine seems to bring us to Home Depot at least once each weekend. Who doesn’t need another pair of work gloves or pack of light bulbs and did you see how shiny that new stove looks? However, on the most recent trip, inspired by the grand orange tree that is rooted in our backyard, I found myself walking out with a mini meyer lemon tree, tiny white blossoms bursting from each stem. We names it Molly, it sits on our front porch, and each day I optimistically will it to grow equally juicy lemons for my next Sunday scone recipe. For now, I can just sit outside with a homemade warm orange scone, settling into a new weekend ritual that is equally as enjoyable as the one from our past.

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Sunday orange and cranberry scones: makes 20 scones (Inspired and adapted from Barefoot Contessa)

– 4 cups flour
– 1/4 cup coconut sugar (use white if you can’t find coconut sugar)
– 2 tablespoons baking powder
– 2 teaspoons sea salt
– 1 tablespoon orange zest
– 2 sticks diced cold butter
– 4 large eggs
– 1/2 cup cream
– 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
– 1 cup dried cranberries

– Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
– In a bowl mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and orange zest.
– Add the diced butter and begin cutting it into the flour mixture with two forks or a pastry cutter. Blend until butter looks crumbled throughout the flour mixture (the size of peas).
– Combine the eggs, milk, and orange juice in a large measuring cup and pour into flour mixture.
– Fold together until dough begins to come together and is sticky. If it seems too dry add a few tablespoons of orange juice.
– Fold in cranberries.
– Dump dough onto a well floured surface and kneed into a ball, flattening it into a 3/4″ thick square. It will be sticky so flour your hands and the cutting knife. Slice into smaller squares and then triangles, or use a round biscuit cutter for round scones.
– Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush tops with cream and sprinkle with more coconut sugar.
– Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are browned.