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Scones with Cream and Jam

I had been intending to make some scones for some time, and, enjoying the good weather whilst I could, thought the bright sunshine of this last weekend leant itself well to cream tea in the garden. There are so many recipes for scones out there, and this recipe is from BBC Good Food – it’s a ‘storecupboard recipe’, (that is to say, a recipe for which you, or me at least, are likely to have everything you need at home anyway), which attracted me, because if it worked it would probably become a standby recipe and I could whip up a batch at any time.

Well, work it did – these really did rise, and were absolutely delicious. I did think they were very slightly undercooked, which was actually quite pleasing, but by all means add a few minutes to the cooking time. My local supermarket didn’t have any clotted cream in, so I had these with extra thick Chantilly (vanilla) cream spooned on top of a thick layer of strawberry jam. The original recipe states this will make 8, although I only achieved 7, but perhaps my dough was a little thick, and I didn’t measure my cutter to check it was the called for 5cm, so it may have been a little larger!

Scones (makes 6-8)

  • 350g self-raising flour , plus more for dusting
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 85g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 175ml milk (or 175ml buttermilk, and omit the lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
  • squeeze lemon juice (the purpose of this is to slightly sour the milk, mimicking buttermilk, which is often used in scones but less likely to be a store-cupboard staple for you)
  • beaten egg, to glaze
  • jam and clotted cream , to serve

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Put the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, and give everything a good stir to mix.

Add the cubes of butter, and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

Pour the milk into a jug, and warm it in the microwave for thirty seconds – it should be warm, but not hot. Add the vanilla and the lemon juice to the milk, and leave it to stand for a minute. It’ll curdle a little, but that’s the point, don’t worry!

Stick a baking sheet into the oven to get hot.

Make a well in the dry ingredients, and tip in the milk mixture. Combine everything quickly with a cutlery knife, until you get a dough – it’ll be quite sticky.

Flour a surface, and tip the dough onto it. Dredge the top of the dough with some more flour, and flour your hands. Fold the dough over a few times until it’s a little smoother and a bit less sticky, then pat it out into a round about 4cm thick. Try not to overwork the dough, as the scones won’t rise as much.

Dip a 5cm round cutter (preferably not a fluted one – the scones will rise better) in a little flour, and cut out four scones. Press the dough back together and cut out another four. Brush the top of the scones with a little beaten egg, and carefully place them onto the hot baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes until risen, and golden on top. Eat just-warm, or cold, on the day of baking, spread with generous amounts of jam and clotted cream. Once they’re cold, you can freeze them if you like. To eat, defrost thoroughly and then refresh them in a 140°C oven to refresh.

For fruit scones, stir in 85g plump, moist sultanas when you add the sugar.   


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