However you pronounce it, fresh scones are always welcome in our house, and with only 20 minutes from start to finish they’re a fairly instant treat when unexpected visitors turn up, or someone’s hungry. Add a pot of Strawberry and Vanilla Conserve, and maybe even clotted cream, mmm… a little bit of heaven.
Or, if you have the grandchildren for a couple of hours make these scrummy treats with them, adding 100g or so of chocolate chips, or dried fruit, and it will keep them occupied until their parents come to collect them.
350g Self-Raising Flour
175 Mls Milk
¼ Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Baking Powder
85g Butter (not salted)
3 Tbsp Caster Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg for Glaze
1. Heat oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7, and put baking tray in to heat up.
a) Tip flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder and stir to mix. Add in the butter, chopped into small chunks, then rub together into fine crumbs with the tips of clean fingertips. Stir in the sugar. Tip – If your hands are warm, run under a cold tap and dry properly – cool hands make better crumbs.
OR, if you are lucky enough to own a ‘Magimix’ such as the one used in the pictures below, or another food processor then follow ‘b’ below.
b) Tip the flour, salt, baking powder and cubes of butter into a food processor fitted with the sharp blade and ‘pulse’ until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and ‘pulse’ again briefly to mix it in.
3. Pour the milk into a plastic jug and zap in the microwave for about 30 seconds until ‘just warm’ but not hot, a ceramic jug will take longer. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, stir.
a) Nudge a dip into the dry mix and pour in the liquid, mix quickly with a cutting action of a dinner knife. It will seem wetter than you expect at first.
b) Pour the liquid into the feed tube of the food processor and ‘pulse’ again.
Whichever method you choose, stop when the dough starts coming together in a lump.
5. Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface, turn the dough in on itself 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother and pat gently until you have a flat round shape about 4cm deep.
6. Now, a big question, do you like scones with a smooth or fluted edge? I prefer smooth as I think the clean cut tends to give a better rise. Whichever shape you choose, dip the cutter into some flour and plunge into the dough, make four scones. Press the dough back together and cut another four, I use a 5cm cutter so I made 12 scones with this mix.
7. Place scones on the hot baking sheet in the oven, brush or glaze the tops with a beaten egg, and bake for 10 minutes or until they are risen and golden – simple.
8. The final step is an obvious one, but the final step is to add nice salty butter, or clotted cream and jam or conserve. Depending on whether you are from Devon or Cornwall you will prefer one on top of the other! Tip – If you make too many and want to freeze them, freeze as soon as they are cool. When you want to use them, pop them into the oven for a few minutes to refresh – about 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3
Mama Ruth works from the ‘Living Kitchen’ at cooking2cooling, West Portway, Andover. www.cooking2cooling.com
Many of her recipes use kitchen appliances which are available to buy in the showroom there, and Mama Ruth is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding cooking or appliances, pop in and say hello, or email firstname.lastname@example.org