I was watching something the other day and it really made me want scones. Actually it really made me want clotted cream, loads of clotted cream, the scone would just be there to stop me from getting my fingers dirty and not just be sat eating a tub of clotted cream with a spoon.
Scones, they aren’t really that special are they, but how could you not like them. When I was making them it brought back to me the picture in my head of baking. When I was a kid I would bake a lot with my Mam, and a lot of the time it was scones, and when I thought about it, scones are actually more difficult than a lot of other things I bake. Most baking you measure stuff out, stick it in a bowl, mix it up, put it in a tin, whack it in the oven for a bit, take it out and eat it.
But scones are hands on…
- 300g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 75g unsalted butter, room temp, cut into cubes
- 50g caster sugar
- a medium egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 120ml double cream
- a bit of milk for brushing
When I came to make these I realised that I probably haven’t made scones in my adult life, even though I must have made them hundreds of times as a kid. These might not be the best recipe, I might have to give my Mam a ring to find out how she makes them but saying that hers might not be that good either. These turned out alright but I’ve had better. I might do some scone experimentation over the next year.
The oven needs preheating to 200°C when you come to bake these bad boys.
When I started making these this is the part that just screamed in my face this is baking, sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a mixing bowl then rub the butter in with your fingers until it resembles bread crumbs. It was the rubbing in of the butter that brought all those memories back of being stood on a chair with my pinny on and my tiny rolling pin getting my hands dirty in a bowl of flour and butter. I found it crazy the amount of cakes I’ve made and I haven’t rubbed butter into flour for years.
After the butter is rubbed in you can just mix in the sugar. Beat the cream, vanilla and egg together then add to the flour and squidge together to form a dough. You don’t want to handle it very much. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of seconds. You don’t even need to roll the dough out, just pat it down with your had till it’s a couple of cm thick. The recipe I was following says 4cm thick but that is very optimistic to say it also wants you to use a 6-7cm cutter and be able to make 8 scones. There was no chance this was happening. At 4cm thick and 7cm in diameter I would have only been able to make about three scones.
I like a straight cutter rather than a rigid one and remember not to twist when you cut them or they might not rise very well. A pro would probably throw the left over dough away after the first set of cut outs but what do I care. Try not to mess with the dough too much when you roll it back up to get another scone or two out of the mix but don’t just waste it. The second ones might not turn out as neat but they will still be good.
Brush the tops with milk, place on a slightly greased baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven, let them cool down for a couple of minutes on a wire rack and then while still warm break in half, add jam and massive amounts of clotted cream.