Category Archives: Blog

Announcing our August Scone: Apple Caramel!

It’s the end of July, which means it’s time to say goodbye to our beloved peach scone for another year. Sad though this is, it is not a tragedy, because it’s time to introduce our next seasonal scone: apple caramel! It will start rolling out to stores on August 1.

Apple caramel is a ridiculously delicious scone, with full hunks of apple baked right in and a smooth and sweet caramel sauce drizzled on top before baking. The tops of these scones get all crunchy with caramel, while staying flaky and soft on the inside. They’re the perfect late-summer dessert (especially when heated up and served with vanilla ice cream—trust us on this).

In honour of this new arrival, we have 5 fun facts about apples for you!

[Oh and quick note: if you’re joining us this weekend, avoid those giant monsters–and subsequent road closures–invading downtown.]

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A scone by any other name…

Ah, scones. Obviously the best of all pastries and finest of all treats (we will accept no arguments on this matter). They are tall, fluffy, rich and yet somehow light, and the perfect conduit for all kinds of delicious toppings.

(This reminds us: at time of writing, our stores are restocked with Devon Cream! Rejoice!)

The humble scone comes in a variety of flavours, but a scone is a scone is a scone, right?

Shockingly, no. There are myriad varieties of scone around the world—which means a whole wide world of scones to try baking and eating. Today, we look at three kinds beyond those at the SconeWitch.

Our scones, as you know and love them.

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How to Cook Your Raw Scones at Home (Or the Cottage!)

Summertime in Ottawa means one thing—hordes of people going on vacation and escaping the city to nearby cottage country. For lots of us, that means doing some meal planning beforehand, so you know you have all kinds of delectable snacks for your time up at the lake.

Even if you’re not headed to a cottage, baking scones at home has all kinds of benefits. Still in your pyjamas on a Sunday morning, but craving scones? If you’ve got some in the freezer, you’ll be good to go in 20 minutes.

But scones can be finicky beings. When it comes to baking them, we’ve picked up some tips and tricks along the way. So, for your viewing (and eating) pleasure, we’re going to walk you through the steps to properly bake your SconeWitch goodies.

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Our new seasonal scone is peach! Here are some fun facts about this delicious fruit.

Did you hear the news? The new seasonal scone for July has arrived, and it is none other than peach!

Our peach scones are the perfect summer snack, with bursts of summery peachy flavour and a crumbly buttery texture. Our staff always loves when these scones come back in the summer, because it means tons of prime snacking time during breaks.

Peaches are the quintessential summer fruit. In honour of our seasonal scone, here are some things you probably didn’t know about the humble peach.

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3 Ways to Celebrate Canada’s 150th this Weekend with the SconeWitch

If you live anywhere in Ottawa (or, anywhere in the country really), you know that this upcoming weekend is Canada’s 150th birthday. Here in Ottawa, the party is going to be huge—there could be more than half a million people downtown on Saturday.

Whether you’re planning to join in on the revelry downtown, or running your own party outside of the core, here are 3 ways to work the SconeWitch into your Canada Day plans.

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How to Enjoy Your Scones at Home

It’s cottage season in Ottawa, which means lots of us are packing our bags and leaving the city for nearby lakes and forests. It’s a beautiful time to live in Ottawa, and the cottage country that surrounds us has got to be among the best in the world.

For foodies, cottage season brings with it a whole new world of meal options. Grills, open fires, fishing, picnics—all these experiences mean a different way of preparing and enjoying food that we don’t get in the city.

For the scone addicts out there, it also means some whole new ways of enjoying your favourite pastry. Today, we look at three great ways to enjoy scones at home, all summer long.

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The SconeWitch Kitchen: Where the Magic Happens

Have you ever wondered how our scones are made? If you’ve been in our locations on Beechwood or Elgin, you’ve probably noticed that there isn’t much room for baking, and you’d be right. Our scones are all made fresh daily at our central kitchen on Cyrville, and driven directly to our stores to be baked.

In our kitchen, our team of bakers work like maniacs to make upwards of three thousand scones per day (yes, they are heroes). And since we still do everything by hand, ensuring that our stores are well stocked is truly a daunting mission.

Today, we’re going to look at how our kitchen operates.

(For those of you who eat our wheat-free scones, bear in mind that this process does not apply. They’re made in a different part of our kitchen with different equipment).

Step One: Ingredients

Heaps upon heaps of flour.

All scones (with the exception of our wheat-frees) start with some basic ingredients: flour, dairy, and butter—lots and lots of butter. The exact quantities and combinations of these ingredients are a closely-guarded secret known only by a few at the SconeWitch.

The scone process starts by prepping these ingredients.

Ingredients for our lemon poppyseed and orange cranberry scones.

The dry ingredients are mixed at our rolling station (more on this later) and the wet ingredients are slowly mixed in. All our mixing and stirring is done by hand.

Dry ingredients being mixed.

Step Two: The Incredible Rolling Table

At the SconeWitch, we do everything by hand. Our only concession to modern convenience is our rolling table, custom made to spare the backs of our bakers (because for real, 3000 scones is a lot).

Once the dough is made, we plunk it on the rolling table, and under the careful control of our bakers, the machine gets to work.

Pretty cool, right?

Step Three: Cutting the Scones

After multiple passes of the rolling table, the dough is ready to be cut.

Cutting cheddar scone dough.

Depending on the flavour, a variety of shapes are used: triangles for our feta, squares for our savoury, and round for our sweet.

Cutting vanilla cream scone dough.

Once the shapes are cut, some flavours are swiped with an egg wash and sprinkled with sugar before being packed into our truck. Then they’re shipped out to our stores to feed our hungry guests.

And that’s the SconeWitch scone process! Any surprises? Questions? Comment below!

What is a scone, anyway?

Sometimes, especially after spending a lot of time at the SconeWitch, we forget that scones—for all their buttery, flaky deliciousness—are not a snack time staple in many peoples’ lives. In fact, scones are a highly regional thing, with lots of variation in recipe, topping, and fillings across Britain, the scone’s homeland.

But how did this doughy pastry rise to popularity? How did they really get their start? Read on to find out the (sometimes surprisingly political) background of the humble scone.

Vanilla SconeWitch scone with rhubarb ginger jam from Moss Berry Farm. Photo by Amelia Garvey.

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Local Food at the SconeWitch

Spring is such a great time in this part of the world, isn’t it? The various farmers’ markets of Ottawa are starting to open, and all kinds of fresh, wonderful local food is once again on offer. Looking at the Ottawa Farmer’s Market’s chart of what’s in season shows how much food will be available from local producers in the coming months.

We love having access to all this food, so we try to use a lot of local products in our food at the SconeWitch. These producers definitely deserve a shout out for all their hard work in feeding the region. So here they are: some of the awesome businesses we work with to make some seriously good food.

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Devon Cream: Everyone’s Favourite Scone Topping

Ah, Devon cream. A thick, spreadable cream traditionally eaten on a scone with jam. It is delicious, indulgent, and—as you know if you’ve been a customer of ours for awhile—sometimes difficult to find.

It turns out that the world of Devon cream is much more complicated than it would first appear. What is it that makes Devon cream so special (and our supply sometimes so tragically unreliable)? Read on to find out.

A lemon poppyseed scone with blackberry jam and Devon cream.

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