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  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest.

  2. Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly.

  3. Stir in the figs and chopped almonds.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, and half-and-half.

  5. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until cohesive.

  6. To make scones as pictured above, read our baker's tip, below left. To make traditional wedge-shaped scones, line a baking sheet with parchment or foil; sprinkle a bit of flour on top. Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or foil, and divide it in half.

  7. Round each half into a 6" x ¾"circle. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with sparkling white sugar.

  8. Slice each circle into 6 wedges. Pull the wedges apart to separate them by 1/2".

  9. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  10. Bake the scones for 20 to 24 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm.

  11. Wrap completely cool scones airtight, and store at room temperature for a couple of days. Freeze for longer storage.

  12. Yield: 12 scones.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To toast almonds, spread in a single layer in an ungreased pan. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until they're a light golden brown.
  • To make round scones: Instead of flouring the parchment and shaping the dough into wedges, scoop the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, using about 1/4 cup for each scone and leaving 2" between them. Continue as directed in the recipe; baking time is a bit shorter, about 18 to 22 minutes.
  • Not fond of dried figs? Substitute chopped dates, raisins, dried cranberries, or the dried fruit of your choice.