Quick and delicious scones

25 Nov

Where, oh where has the time gone? It’s nearly December already! It’s around about that time that we all like snuggling up next to the fire with a warm glass of mulled wine and something to nibble on. Unfortunately I have no fire, so I’m going to make do with the oven, and one of my favourite things to have rising dutifully in my oven is the humble scone. Preferably half a dozen of them, golden and proud, with little raisins poking out here and there.

 

So quintessentially British, scones really do bring me such fond memories of afternoon teas in the middle of London, a glass of bubbly in one hand, tea in the other, shutting out the crazy claustrophobic noise of the city for a few moments. They make me feel homely and content, and provide that familiar feeling of relaxation. They also remind me a lot of my mother and her mother, who both make such wonderful scones.

They are so quick to make, and one normally has the necessary ingredients in the cupboard, so they’re a perfect idea if you need to whip something up in a jiffy because your friend is popping over for tea. Now, I’ve tried many a recipe for scones, there are many out there. Many of the modern recipes seem to use buttermilk, and I must say I tried, I really did, but after the 36th scone on a particularly stressful baking day, I packed it in and called my mum. Of course, my housemate couldn’t notice a difference, but to me the buttermilk scone was too dense, and I like my scones light, fluffy and much more fragile. My mum’s recipe really does seem to be the only one which works for me; it’s uncomplicated and straightforward, and produces wonderful results time after time. I do sometimes also like to add in half a teaspoon of baking powder. I’m not sure whether it actually makes any difference, but I like to think I’m giving my little scones as much of a helping hand as possible. I’ve found that smaller scones tend to rise better than the larger ones, so I tend to use the smaller cutters.

Recipe (makes around 6. I normally double this recipe.)

  • 8oz self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5oz margarine
  • 1oz caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp raisins or sultanas
  • 1 egg plus milk beaten to make 1/4 pint of liquid. Keep back a tablespoon or so to use as egg wash.

 

Try to keep things nice and cold. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You want to be able to see a few little flecks of margarine in there! If I know I’m pushed for time the next day, I have been known to make this up and store it in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.

Mix in the sugar and the sultanas, and add the egg and milk mixture a little at a time to make soft dough. Handle the dough as little as possible!

Roll out onto a floured surface delicately (the less you work the dough the happier it will be), around about 1 inch – 1.5 inch deep, and cut into rounds. Brush the tops of each with a little egg wash.

Place onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven for about 10 minutes at 215-220 C.

Serve warm with strawberry jam, a little whipped cream or butter, and a hot mug of tea.

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One Response to “Quick and delicious scones”

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  1. Quick Prep-ahead Party Nibbles « DrinksAndNibbles - December 10, 2012

    […] – Scones […]

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