If you go to the grocery store this time of year, you will probably find an abundance of citrus fruits. Living in Florida, I would frequent the farmer’s market that spanned the entirety of tiny downtown Sarasota, pondering the potential of the foreign, but somehow familiar pomelo. Until I lived there, I was the most pathetic citrus-eater you might ever fathom. To be fair, I started off a sorry candidate: my earliest memories of oranges occurred at the ripe age of 4, when I required an additional bowl for both the peels and the leftover mush of the orange from which I had removed all the juice I possibly could. Thinking back on this, I wonder, how did I get started infusing scones with tart, pink grapefruit?
In the process of relocating to Minneapolis, it never crossed my mind for a moment that I had a newfound citrus appreciation that would need further attending in my new home, where orange groves do not overpopulate. I remember my first January in frigid Minnesota, even. I bundled up in my down comforter jacket and swore at myself over the brief walk from my car to the door of the supermarket. And then, the bright hope of a wafting smell, and I caught wind of the season; sure enough, sale signs were front and center, jutting from an abundant pile of aromatic oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines. How wonderful, that we might encounter such refreshing accompaniments to an otherwise bone-chilling time of year.
The best part about citrus is the ease, the endlessness with which the possibilities unfold. Zest, juice, slice; it’s like each brightly colored round is intended for usefulness in every single way. And since we are all in search of the perfect scone, it took relatively little convincing before I was zesting perfectly delicate curls from a grapefruit and juicing its meaty flesh to impart some contrast to the chunks of Scharffen Berger chocolate I had in my cabinet.
Obviously, when it comes to cream scones, there is no holding back. But I think the beginning of the process is consistent with its end. We start by shaving a frozen stick of butter, which turns our flour and grapefruit-infused sugar mixture to crumbs. We pour rich heavy cream into the well and we roll out, fold, and roll again. Each perfect disc rises in the company of likeness (see also: greatness), and it all gets drizzled with pink-tinged glaze before we gobble. And gobble. And gobble.
Sometimes, it’s OK to be a glutton.
Dark Chocolate Grapefruit Cream Scones
Makes 6 scones
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp grapefruit zest
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, frozen and grated
1 cup Scharffen Berger Semisweet Chocolate Baking Chunks
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3 tbsp fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
SCONES: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet and line with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugar and grapefruit zest. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips (to release the oils in the zest) until the sugar is fragrant. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, whisking to combine. Stir in grated butter. Stir in chocolate. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in heavy cream, stirring until just combined. Transfer ingredients to a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 1-inch thick round. Fold the dough over, rolling again. Repeat a third time. Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter* to cut rounds of dough, placing each on the prepared baking sheet. Space biscuits out evenly. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges of the scones are golden brown. Let cool completely and drizzle with Grapefruit Glaze.
GLAZE: Stir confectioner’s sugar and grapefruit juice until fully combined.
ASSEMBLY: Drizzle completely cooled scones with grapefruit glaze. Scones can be served immediately, but are best once the glaze has set, about 45 minutes.
*If using a smaller biscuit cutter, shorten baking time accordingly.