250 mL (1 cup) dried figs, diced
125 mL (½ cup) orange juice
750 mL (3 cups) all-purpose flour
30 mL (2 tbsp) baking powder
10 mL (2 tsp) sugar
5 mL (1 tsp) salt
125 mL (½ cup) cold butter, diced
250 mL (1 cup) 2% or 3.25% milk
250 mL (1 cup) Armstrong Old Cheddar cheese, divided (half for the dough, the other half for the topping)
10 mL (2 tsp) orange zest, finely grated (about 1 orange)
Position an oven rack on the upper-middle level. Preheat oven to 260°C (500°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, place the diced figs and cover with orange juice. Soak for 20 minutes at room temperature.
In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pulse until the ingredients are combined (5 pulses). Add the diced butter and pulse until the mixture looks like sand and no chunks of butter are visible (20 pulses). Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk milk and eggs together. Set aside 50 mL ((¼ cup) of this mixture in a different bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk and egg mixture. Using a spatula, mix until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is sticky (if it seems too dry, add more milk, 15 ml (1 tbsp) at the time). Strain the figs (discard the soaking juice), and add them to the dough. Sprinkle 125 mL (1/2 cup) of the Armstrong Old Cheddar cheese and the orange zest over the dough. Using a spatula, fold to fully incorporate the ingredients into the dough.
Transfer the dough on a floured working surface. With floured hands, gather the dough into a large ball. Flour the top of the dough, then roll it out to form a 4-cm-thick disk. Using a 6 cm cookie cutter, cut out the scones by flouring the cookie cutter between each cut to keep the dough from sticking. To cut out perfect scones, firmly press down on the cookie cutter in a straight movement from top to bottom. Transfer the scones on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 3 to 4 cm apart.
Gather the dough scraps and create a new ball, kneading it as little as possible. Roll out to a 4-cm disk again, and cut out more scones. Repeat until the dough has all been used. Use a pastry brush to cover the top of the scones with the reserved milk and egg mixture, and sprinkle with the reserved Armstrong Old Cheddar cheese.
Lower the oven temperature to 220°C (425°F). Bake the scones for 12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through so they cook evenly. Transfer the scones on a cooling rack.
Enjoy the scones warm or at room temperature with salted butter and fig jam or marmalade.