What ho, and all that, spiffing readers. I’m being especially upper-crust because I wanted to tell you about the scones I made a couple of weeks ago. Let’s take a gander at them first. Have a good look, there you go, feast your eyes.

Easy scones

 

Alright, that’s enough. Put your eyes away now.

On our spring trip to the UK, I wanted to take Emily out for a right old afternoon tea, with really nice sandwiches, scones, cream, jam, and all that. (You know, the sort of thing that Americans imagine that we Brits have every day, presumably as a break from striding around our castle grounds and whipping peasants.) We managed to find one at Huffkins in Burford (if you visit their site, do look for the amusing “About Our Employees” section) – all piled up on a proper tiered cake stand.

Anyway, I had picked up a jar of clotted cream at our local health food store last week (just let that sink in for a moment. Clotted cream. Health food store. Hm.) and decided on a whim to make scones. After some cursory research, and quickly realising I didn’t have any buttermilk (a requirement for many recipes) I settled on this version from Rachel Allen. I’ve adapted for US volumes and temperature. You can fuss with biscuit cutters and the like, but I like the country-style triangles simply cut from the dough with a knife.

Ingredients:

  • 500g (4 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp sea salt (I used Maldon)
  • 125g chilled unsalted butter (1 stick + 1/4, or 10 tbsp), diced small
  • 25g (2 tbsp) white sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 275 ml (1 cup) whole milk

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/450F.

2. Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Sift the flour if you like, I didn’t bother. Rub in the butter with your fingers until well combined. It should look a little like crumble topping.

3. Combine two-thirds of the beaten egg with the milk, then add to the flour mixture and mix briefly to combine into a moist dough. Place on a lightly floured work surface and knead a little just to bring it together, then roll out to a thickness of about an inch.

4. Cut triangular scones and place on a floured baking tray.

5. Add about a teaspoon of milk to the remaining third of the beaten egg. Brush the scones with this egg wash and bake for about 12 minutes (should look golden brown on top). Serve while hot.

You should freeze any scones you don’t plan to eat within a couple of days. I served this with good tea (leaves, not bags) made in a pot and  drunk from fine china that were a gift from our darling friend Heather. You can do it a different way, if you like, but my way is clearly the best. Oh, and add the milk first, what are you, some sort of heathen?
Matt enjoying scone and tea