“Mongolian” scones, a lighter and fluffier version of their English cousin, are quick to make and a delicious start to our day in the coldest capital in the world, Ulaanbaatar.
We are part of a foodie network in Ulaanbaatar (UB) where one of the most common questions is, “Can you get ______ ingredient here?” Although UB is a thriving city of over a million inhabitants, Mongolia is still a developing country where certain items can be difficult to come by. Heavy whipping cream is one example. When we finally tracked some down, the price tag was the equivalent of 28 US dollars for a one liter container. The cost and inconvenience associated with certain items has been fostering invention as we experiment with substitutions to our recipes.
Our “Mongolian” scones are our answer to the question, “What can I substitute for heavy cream in scones?” The answer is yogurt, which is inexpensive and readily available in Ulaanbaatar’s grocery stores. The result is a lighter, less crumbly scone.
For this version, we used a large cookie scoop, overfilled, to create mounded scones. It is typical to create scones in a disc shape and to then cut them into wedges. The mounded shape allowed a nice rise and more crunchy surface area in one perfectly portioned breakfast scone to accompany our Mongolian eggs and delicious, thick-sliced Mongolian bacon.
A large cookie scoop portioned this dough into sixteen scones. An ice cream scoop would work well for slightly larger scones.
Mongolian Scones with Cranberry and Pecans
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried orange peel, or fresh orange zest
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 small eggs (Mongolian stores typically carry smaller eggs than are sold in America)
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Cover baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Stir flour, brown sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and orange peel together in a large bowl.
- Stir cranberries and pecans into the flour mixture.
- In a small bowl, whisk granulated sugar and eggs together. Mix in yogurt.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry.
- Stir ingredients until fully incorporated with a rubber spatula. Dough will be very sticky.
- Scoop out generous cookie scoops (2 tbsp or more) of dough and drop mounds on baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until scones are golden brown.
- Enjoy fresh out of the oven with a fried egg and a slice of bacon.