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These scones won’t curb your enthusiasm

Recipe: Strawberries and cream scones with orange zest

These strawberry and cream scones are perfect for a spring brunch or tea.

These strawberry and cream scones are perfect for a spring brunch or tea. Debbie Arrington

The recent finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” put me in the mood for scones.

As Larry David fans know, scones were a running gag (and sometimes “dry” humor) through several seasons of his show. How would Larry rate these scones? “Prettaaay, prettaaay good!”

Key is the texture. Scones are basically elevated biscuits. (Don’t dare call them “fancy muffins.”) So, the texture should be biscuitlike, not overly crumbly. Handle the dough gently.

Traditional scones are topped with clotted cream and jam. These little gems need no extras; the fruit is baked right in.

Finely chopped peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries or other soft fruit can be substituted for the strawberries. Using a food processor makes incorporating the butter into the flour a snap.

Strawberries and cream scones

Makes about 10 scones


1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar (divided)

3 tablespoons cold butter

2 eggs

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/3 cup strawberries, hulled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon water


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.

Two scones on a plate
These scones have the berries baked right in.

In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Pulse briefly to combine.

Cut butter into cubes and add to flour mixture. Pulse a few times to combine.

Lightly beat 1 egg. Stir in cream. Add egg-cream mixture to flour-butter mixture. Pulse briefly to combine. Add orange zest; pulse again.

Fold in chopped strawberries. Pulse briefly to combine.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead gently with floured hands 10 times. Dough will be sticky and soft. Add a tablespoon or more of flour if needed to make it easier to handle.

Cut dough into 3-inch triangles. With a spatula, gently transfer scones onto prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, beat remaining 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush over top of scones. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over top.

Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden.

Serve warm.


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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