Cassis & Brandy Scones

How early is too early to to spike your breakfast with a little bit of brandy?

If you ask me, it’s never too early!

Before you judge, know that brandy is an extremely humble and versatile spirit, and, like vanilla, it goes particularly well with nearly everything sweet.

It’s made by distilling fruit wine, which explains why you can put it any recipe involving fresh fruit and it will enrich the flavour of your dish.

Brandy and chocolate? Yep, you can do that, too.

Brandy and chicken and parmesan? I live by a restaurant that makes a popular fettuccine featuring those three ingredients!

I thought that a French brandy would be a perfect partner for another equally French delight, cassis, also know as blackcurrant.

So how early is “too early”? Could I have changed your mind on this subject?

Consider this: if people weren’t meant to have alcohol first thing in the morning, then the mimosa would have never been invented!

Either way, if you’re really worried about your AM booze intake, fear not — the alcohol in brandy mostly burns off while these light and creamy scones are baking, leaving sweet flavour behind.

Cassis & Brandy Scones

*adapted from Joy of Baking

Ingredients

Scones

  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 3/4 cup whip cream, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried blackcurrants

Blackcurrant Glaze

  • 1/2 cup dried blackcurrants
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 ~ 2 tablespoons cream or brandy

Directions

Scones

Preheat the oven to 375°F (or 190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and white sugar together.

Drop the cold, cubed butter into the bowl, and cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter (or two knives). Cut the butter in until the mixture becomes small crumbs, tossing the mixture occasionally to ensure that everything is evenly distributed, and no large bits of butter remain.

Stir in the dried blackcurrants with a fork.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the lightly beaten egg, whip cream, brandy, and vanilla extract.

Pour the cream mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough just comes together. If you need to use an extra tablespoon of cream to make all the dry ingredients stick together, then go for it.

Turn the ball of dough out onto a clean surface. Knead it a few times, then shape and flatten the dough into a disc.

Slice the disc into 8 even wedges of dough.

Transfer the wedges of dough to a baking sheet and brush the tops with more whip cream.

Bake the scones for 15 ~ 18 minutes, or until the edges are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Currant Glaze

While the scones are baking, start making the glaze.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the blackcurrants, water, brandy, sugar, and lemon juice to a simmer.

Simmer until the liquid is mostly evaporated, and then transfer the simmered blackcurrants to a food processor. Add 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and then blend until very smooth.

Allow the currant paste to cool for 10 minutes, then mix in 1 cup of icing sugar. Add in 1 ~ 2 tablespoons of cream or brandy to bring the glaze to the consistency you desire, then drizzle it over the baked scones.

These scones are awesome — definitely some of the best I’ve ever made, if I do say so myself! I look forward to making them again when blackcurrants are in season (which is around July and August, I think).

So, without the glaze, these scones will freeze very well and keep for up to a month.

With the glaze, they’re best eaten the day that they’re made! Yum!

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2 thoughts on “Cassis & Brandy Scones

  1. Janna says:

    Oh man, that looks like a delicious breakfast….

  2. Brandon says:

    This would be perfect on a chilly winter evening with…a glass of brandy! I assume there’s a gluten-free version?

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