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By Dianne Bunis

A basic scone recipe is enhanced with fruit and nuts, then topped with a sweet lemon glaze. Following the British custom, partner scones with afternoon tea, Downton Abbey style. Steep tea in a china pot and serve with a delicate cup and saucer; serve scones with homemade jam.

How to make a proper cup of tea

The best tea is brewed in a pot with loose-leaf tea rather than tea bags. Start with fresh cold water. As the water nears the boil, pour a little into the teapot, swirl it around to warm the pot, then discard the water. Add tea leaves to the pot, one heaping teaspoon per cup. Immediately pour boiling water over the tea, stir and cover. Let it steep for 5 to 7 minutes; pour the tea through a fine strainer into the teacup.

Lemon-glazed dried fruit-pistachio scones

Makes 20 scones

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract — Sonoma Syrup Co. Madagascar Bourbon & Tahitian Vanilla

1 large egg white

1/4 cup dried plums, diced (Sunsweet Amazins )

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 tablespoon unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped

1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened almond milk

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, level with a knife, sift into a large bowl. Sift baking powder and baking soda into bowl, add sugar and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a small bowl, combine egg, milk, and vanilla. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just moist and dough is soft.

Sprinkle dough with dried fruits and pistachio nuts; with floured hands, knead dough 3-4 times or until just incorporated.

Using an ice cream scoop, delicately scoop out dough (not heap) and arrange scones on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until golden brown. While scones are baking, prepare glaze; set aside.

Transfer scones to a wire rack,; when cooled, drizzle glaze generously over scones and let stand for 1-2 minutes before serving.

Lemon Glaze

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (remove any seeds)

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated

Sift confectioners’ sugar into a measuring cup, gradually add the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk until the glaze is smooth of any lumps; add more sugar or lemon juice, as necessary, to achieve desired consistency; glaze should run off the whisk.

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