Up until around a month ago, I hadn’t thought about scones in years. Well, I might have done, if faced with the choice of eating one in a cafe.
Then we hosted Afternoon Tea and I realised I had no idea how to make a scone. My friend, The Other Ruth, made them for the tea party.
It turns out there are a gazillion ways to make scones.
With an egg.
Without an egg.
With baking powder.
Without baking powder.
I chose to listen to Delia.
225g self-raising flour,
40g golden caster sugar (I have never, ever seen golden caster sugar, ordinary caster sugar seems to do the job),
75g spreadable butter,
50g mixed dried fruit (I use just currents),
1 large egg, beaten (I use a medium sized egg, because that is what I buy),
about 3-4 tablespoons milk to mix,
a little extra flour.
Pre-heat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7.
Lightly grease a non-stick baking tray.
You will need a 5 cm plain or fluted cutter.
Sift the flour into a bowl, add the sugar and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks crumbly (you might want to remove any chunky rings prior to this stage). Sprinkle in the dried fruit, pour in the beaten egg and add 3 tablespoons of milk.
Start to mix into a dough using a knife, then bring the mixture together using your hands. It should be soft but not a sticky dough, so add more milk (a teaspoon at a time) if the dough seems dry. Form the dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured working surface.
Now, with a floured rolling pin, roll it out lightly to a thickness of about 3 cm. This thickness is vital. The reasons scones don’t rise enough is because they are rolled too thin.
Then take the pastry cutter and tap it sharply so that it goes straight through the dough. Do not twist or the scones will turn out a strange shape.
When you have cut as many as you can, knead the remaining dough together again and repeat. Then place the scones on the baking tray and bake near the top of the oven for 12-15 minutes.
When they are done they will have risen and turned golden brown. Remove them to a cooling tray and serve very fresh, split and spread with butter.
Makes about eight.
How do you eat yours?
How do you pronounce yours? I say scone with an “on” sound at the end because I am from the North West of England. The Other Ruth says scone with an “own” sound at the end because she is from Southern England.