Scones? Yes please!

At half term we spent a gorgeous week in Appledore, a tiny little fisherman’s village in North Devon (have a look: Appledore Cottages), and most days we ate scones….not just scones though, stunning homemade scones with clotted cream (lots) and jam (lots) and even butter….(also lots!). OK, we did do many other things, crab fishing, fishing, walks on the beach, sites etc, but the scones stand out in my mind. I LOVE a good scone….Some say plain, boring…but no no….I say scones all the way!

Being in baking and snack mode this week, as well as having some buttermilk in the fridge, I thought I would make some. I am always hunting for good after school treats for the children (wanting to avoid abuse :-)) – scones are a great one! Very easy, super quick and the smell that fills the kitchen…heavenly!

To make things complicated, however, my husband criticized the first batch I made….said the flavour was lovely but the consistency “bready”… I am a tad of a perfectionist and it really bothered me…so I researched a bit and tried making them in a different way! Much better, or different is a better word….smiles all around…BUT we now have scones all over the kitchen – come over and have one if you like!!!!

I will put both recipes up – the first one makes a less crumbly, less sweet scone while the second is more of a sweet, soft treat!

It was a bit dark and sad outside today so a candle made it lovely and cosy inside! Important to set a nice scene when you are in the kitchen!

The first recipe – inspired by Anne Willan’s Look and Cook book – goes like this!

250g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
60g unsalted butter
175ml buttermilk
 
  • Heat your oven to 220C and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. I used to skip this step and just chuck everything in but actually, apart from making the flour look soft and beautiful, almost snow like, it makes it more airy and therefore helps create a lighter scone.

 

Pretty right?

  • Add the butter and with your fingers, or those of your children, rub the mixture together quickly until it forms crumb like consistency. Think airy and light when you are doing this and do move rather quickly so that you do not melt the butter with the warmth from your hands.
  • Pour the buttermilk into the centre of the bowl – you will of course (!) have made a pretty hole in the flour…

  • Using a fork, toss the flour mixture with the buttermilk and stir until just holding together. Do NOT over stir – why? This will make chewy, hard scones…
  • Knead quickly on lightly floured surface, literally a few seconds, do not make it smooth. Then pat the dough into a round shape, about 2cm thick.
  • Cut out round shapes with a cookie cutter or glass

  • Place the scones on your parchment and bake them in the warm oven for about 15 minutes (or until light brown)

  • Sink your teeth into those!!!!! OR, what I did, butter and jam them, wrap them up and delight your children! (and enjoy a rare, quiet, proud “Mum is great” moment)

The second recipe is by Rachel Allen and is slightly sweeter and more light – not much – but enough to be different!

500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting   
1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 heaped tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
125g chilled unsalted butter   
25g caster sugar
1 egg,  beaten   
275ml buttermilk, plus extra for the egg wash   
1 tbsp caster sugar
 
  • The procedure is similar to that above. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and salt into a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix.
  • Save 1/3 of the beaten egg and pour the rest into the buttermilk.
  • Add the liquids to the flour and stir with a fork – quickly – follow kneading and patting procedure as above, and you should see this on parchment.

  • Lightly brush the scones with the remaining egg, to which you can add a bit of buttermilk. This creates a nice, golden colour.
  • Into the oven – 12-15 minutes – until brown/golden. Below is the result! YUMMY!

Both recipes are great..my preference is probably the Sarah Allen’s though…just a bit more traditional scone…

A slight niggle remains….someone suggested that a real scone, a proper one, contains lard….Hhmmmm….I just cannot quite get myself to try it. Watch this space though, maybe I will be brave enough one day!

 
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