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What You Need

Ingredients
1/2 cup dried currants
Juice and zest of 1/2 small lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice and 2 teaspoons zest)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
2 cups unbleached cake flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cultured preferred, cut into 1/2-inch chunks, chilled
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup Demerara sugar or turbinado sugar, optional

Equipment
Small glass or nonreactive bowl
Small mixing bowl
Plastic wrap
Stand mixer or food processor
Rolling pin
Pastry scraper
Rimmed baking sheet
Pizza cutter or large knife
Pie server
Pastry brush

Instructions

  1. Soak the currants: Place the currants in a small glass or other nonreactive bowl, add the lemon juice and zest, and stir well. Let stand for 35 to 40 minutes. The currants will rehydrate and plump a little.
  2. Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick vegetable oil spray or nonstick baking spray and set aside.
    In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream and egg yolks and whisk to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients: Sift the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
  4. Add the butter: Scatter the butter chunks over the flour. If you are using a stand mixer, mix at medium-low speed for 30 seconds. If you are using a food processor, process in 8 (1-second) pulses. Either way, the mixture should resemble powdery sand in some spots and coarse sand in others. Do not overmix.
  5. Add the egg mixture: Add the egg mixture and mix at medium speed for 30 to 45 seconds, or process in 4 (1-second) pulses, just until the dough barely comes together. It should be lumpy, with raggedy edges — not smooth at all.
  6. Add the currants: Heavily dust a work surface with all-purpose flour. Scoop the dough out onto it (being careful of the blade if you are using a food processor), scatter the currants and zest on top, and gently mix them in.
  7. Cut the dough: Divide the dough in half. Sprinkle a pinch of flour on top of one of the halves and shape into 6- to 7-inch round with a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Repeat with the other portion of dough. Use a pizza wheel or a large knife to cut each circle into 6 even wedges. Be sure to cut all the way through to the bottom so the wedges are separated. Using a pie server or a spatula, lift the wedges, one at a time, and arrange on the prepared baking sheet, about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch apart.
  8. Brush with butter: Brush the tops of the scones with the melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar if using.
  9. Bake the scones: Bake until golden-brown on the tops and bottoms, 15 to 18 minutes.

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