Monday, March 22, 2021

Ultra-Buttery Irish Scones

I was poking around for something Irishish to make on an early St. Patrick's Day morning but didn't have dried fruit and didn't have buttermilk or lemon juice (and didn't feel like soda bread anyway) when I encountered a few recipes for so-called "Irish" scones. I chose this one from Epicurious because it was highly rated, made a half recipe, substituted chocolate chips for currants, and forgot one of the folds in the directions, but they were tasty enough. I can't figure out if there isn't enough salt in the recipe or I forgot to add it. It was an early morning! I've made a lot of scones; it's nice to have one that's a little different.

Closeup of an Irish scone in cute folds and mini chocolate chips sticking out, held in front of my husband's plaid shirt.

Ultra-Buttery Irish Scones

8 scones
Active Time
20 minutes
Total Time
45 minutes


  • 1 cup cold whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • Demerara or turbinado sugar (for sprinkling)
  • Flaky sea salt (for sprinkling)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk milk, granulated sugar, and kosher salt in a medium bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Whisk flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut 10 Tbsp. butter into 1/2" cubes, add to flour mixture, and blend with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until pea-size pieces form with some larger chunks remaining. Add milk mixture and stir with a fork until large clumps form. Gently knead in the bowl until dough just comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface.
  3. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough to a 14x8" rectangle, with long side facing you. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a small, microwave-proof bowl in the microwave until softened but not melted, about 20 seconds. Spread evenly over dough with fingertips, then sprinkle currants evenly on top and press to adhere. Fold up bottom third of dough over center, then fold down top third to meet bottom edge, as if folding a letter. Fold in half crosswise, then, using a rolling pin, gently flatten into an 8x4" rectangle.
  4. Cut dough in half lengthwise and in quarters crosswise to form 8 even squares. Transfer to prepared pan, spacing 2" apart. Sprinkle tops generously with demerara sugar and lightly with flaky sea salt.
  5. Bake until scones are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When butter bubbles, remove from heat and skim off foam from surface. As soon as the scones come out of the oven, lightly brush tops with clarified butter, leaving behind white solids in bottom of saucepan. Cool scones on sheet on a wire rack and serve hot, warm, or room temperature.
Do Ahead
Rolled and cut scone dough can be frozen in an airtight container up to 2 days. Bake directly from the freezer, increasing baking time as needed. Scones can be made 6 hours ahead-let cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.


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