I didn't really expect to like these scones since figs, for the most part, don't do much for me. The only reason I made them was that they used up a lot of buttermilk (almost done with the 2 gallons now) and I figured Chris would like them since he likes figs.
Imagine my surprise when I bit into one and realized just how good they are. The fig flavor melds very well with the rich, buttery flavors of the scone and the cinnamon/sugar topping complements and accents the rest of it. Like most scones they are not overly sweet, but they aren't really supposed to be. I would rate them in the top three of scone recipes, just below the bacon cheddar scones (which I'm making tomorrow...), and my favorite maple pecan scones.
This is another recipe from my Beth Hensperger Bread Bible that I discovered while looking for something else, and I really must remember to check that book for recipes more often because there are some excellent ones in there.
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
grated zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried figs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup cold buttermilk
1 egg or some heavy cream for a wash
2 tbsps sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon for dusting
Preheat oven to 400 and line rimmed baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar. Add the orange zest and stir to distribute. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers, forming crumbs. You want a variety of crumb sizes, but the most important part is to work quickly so that the butter doesn't get too warm. Stir in the figs and walnuts. Add the buttermilk and work it into the dough. You may have to add more -- just add a little at a time to any dry patches. Again, the important part is to work quickly so that the butter stays cold.
Once you have a mostly uniform dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in two. Pat each half into a circle about 1 inch thick, then cut each round into 6 wedges. Brush each wedge with the wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the wedges are golden brown on bottom and lightly brown on top. They are best served warm.