Aside from the great, local produce, the Union Square Greenmarket also has delicious bread and baked goods stands. One of my favorite stands is Our Daily Bread. I love scones and they have some great ones. Scones are one of my favorite breakfast/brunch baked goods. Its buttery flavor and crumbly texture pair well with a cup of tea or coffee. My favorite scone from Our Daily Bread is their cranberry cornmeal scone. I made my own version of this scone for a weekend brunch I hosted.
But brunch? Did I wake up hours in advance to prepare all this freshly baked goodness? Definitely not. I try to prepare what I can ahead of time. Here are the components of my brunch and how I usually prepare them:
Fruit: I usually make a fruit salad or offer a bowl of fruit – like strawberries or grapes. This is quick and easy to prepare the morning of.
Baked Good: This is usually a muffin, scone, or some type of quick bread, like banana bread. This can be made the night before and kept moist wrapped in saran wrap.
Entree: This is made the morning of. However, if I am serving Belgian waffels or pancakes, the batter can be made the day before.
Side: This I make the morning of. It’s usually something like sausages, which is quick to prepare, or home fries, which I bake – put it in the oven and it’s done in about 20 minutes. Quick and simple.
For the baked good, I make it right before I got to bed the night before. I let it cool, put it on a plate, and cover it tightly with saran wrap so it stays moist for the next morning. I tried one of these scones right when it came out and also the next morning – they both tasted great!
- Move oven rack so that the scones will bake in the top third of the oven.
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Add the butter pieces.
- Using a pastry cutter, or two dinner knives, or food processor, cut butter pieces into the flour mixture. You want to achieve a crumbly consistency.
- Mix in cranberries and orange zest.
- With a fork, stir in the egg and buttermilk. You want the dough to become just moistened. Don’t over-mix.
- Dust a clean surface with some flour, form the dough into a soft ball and pat into a large round, about 1/3″ thick.
- If the dough becomes too soft to handle because of the butter, refrigerate it for about 5 minutes.
- Using a round cookie cutter or cup, cut out circles about 2 1/2″ in diameter.
- Gather the dough scraps together, pat into a large round and repeat cutting out circles.
- Place the scones onto a cookie sheet, either greased or lined with foil or parchment paper.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.