I love scones. Whenever I go out for afternoon tea, I'll look for a good scone as my first preference, only turning my attention to the cakes if I fail to find a satisfactory scone. Fruit scones are my preference - sometimes I'll order a cream tea even with a plain scone, but for me, it's the more fruit the better.
I don't make these nearly as often as I should, I'm sure, considering just how simple they are to make. Nothing beats a warm scone, fresh from the oven, with just a little butter melted inside. It also means I can make them exactly how I want them.
Of course, the fruit is entirely optional, leaving you with a base scone mixture. For savoury scones, miss out the sugar as well, and maybe add some herbs or cheese (I'll probably blog a cheese scone recipe soon, as my husband is a massive fan of cheese scones).
Scones always strike me as a very British thing. Just don't get drawn in by the (very regional) debate about whether you should put the jam on before the cream, or the cream before the jam!
Makes 8 medium scones
200g (8oz) plain flour
4tsp baking powder
25g (1oz) caster sugar
50g (2oz) butter
125g (5oz) dried fruit (I used 100g (4oz) raisins and 25g (1oz) candied peel)
150ml (5floz) milk (or water)
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 8 (or I use 220°C in my fan oven), and flour (or lightly oil) a baking sheet.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, and sugar (sifting if necessary).
- Rub the butter into the flour mixture.
- Mix in the dried fruit.
- Add milk a little at a time, stirring until there are no dry patches of flour left. As with all baking, the amount of liquid you'll need will depend on humidity, but it's less important to get it exactly right with scones.
- At this point, you could roll out the mixture on a floured surface, and use a cutter to make your scones. Typically I just divide the mixture into eight, and roll into rough balls between my hands, but then I like the 'rustic' look.
- Arrange on the baking tray (bearing in mind that they'll probably spread a little) and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, but serve warm, while they're still perfect. (They will keep for a couple of days, though, if you're restrained enough to avoid eating them all at once.)