Scones are quick and easy to make. It only takes a few minutes to knock up a batch and 15 minutes or so later you are taking light, fluffy, homemade scones from the oven. This week is National afternoon tea week and surely it’s not the same without scones. Just in case you need an excuse…
I am blessed to have three cosy little holiday cottages in Suffolk. They’re part of a terrace with gardens in the front and in the back. Two of them we rent out as holiday homes the third one is a work in progress. Our typical weekend at the cottages starts with a good breakfast and ends with a meal in one of the many excellent local pubs. Because we skip lunch we tend to get a bit peckish in the afternoon and I often make a batch of scones to tide us over. There is something a little decadent about sitting outside having afternoon tea with scones, and it certainly makes us feel like we are on holiday even if we have been busy gardening or doing other work. This Sunday was a gloriously sunny day, perfect for afternoon tea in the garden. I took some pictures to be able to share the recipe with you.
Scones 3 ways
You may already know that I am a baker’s daughter. My father always made fruit scones for the bakery and I do not remember eating plain sweet scones while I lived at home. A trip to Cornwall some years ago changed that and I have been hooked ever since.
- I now like my scones best served with cream (whipped or clotted, I’m not that fussy) and a good quality jam. Strawberry and raspberry are my favourites.
- You can easily adapt this recipe to make fruit scones by simply adding about 50-75g sultanas.
- If you are more of a savoury scone person, omit the caster sugar and stir in 75g finely grated cheddar cheese instead. A few sliced spring onions also makes a great addition to cheese scones.
Do let me know in the comments what your favourite scone is.
Step by step scones
- 350 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 80 g butter cut into cubes
- 50 g caster sugar
- 180 ml milk
- whipped or clotted cream
- good quality jam
Preheat the oven to 200℃ /190℃ fan/gas mark 6. Lightly grease or butter a baking tray.
Place the flour in a mixing bowl with the baking powder. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar.
Pour in most of the milk. Use a dinner knife to start to mix the milk into the mixture then finish bringing the dough together with your fingers. Take care not to over handle the dough.
Roll out on a lightly floured work surface to about 2cm thick. Cut out scones with 7 cm cookie cutter and place on the baking tray.
Brush the tops of the scones with the remaining milk and bake in the centre of the oven for 12–15 minutes until risen and golden.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve split and filled with jam and cream.
Recipe NotesFreeze: in a polythene bag for up to 3 months. Defrost for 2–3 hours at room temperature. Reheat in a warm oven 150℃ /130℃ fan/ gas mark 2 for 5–10 minutes.
Hints, tips and variations
- The trick to light fluffy scones is to handle the mixture lightly. Just enough to bring the dough together. I use the knife to begin with as this helps to avoid being overly heavy handed.
- I get 6–7 larger scones from this mixture but you could use smaller cutters and make more. The baking time may be reduced slightly so watch they do not burn.
- You don’t need any special equipment. If you don’t have a cookie cutter, use a glass.
- Sometimes I do not even bother with a rolling pin and just pat the dough into one large round, cut into wedges and transferring them to the baking tray.
- I brush the tops of my scones with a little beaten milk. If you want a shiny surface you can brush with a little beaten egg mixed with a few drops of water (egg wash). I tend not to do this unless I happen to have some beaten egg wash left over from other baking or batch baking, as it seems rather a waste.
- They are best on the day they are made but will keep for a day or two in an airtight container. I tend to reheat them in a warm oven for a few minutes when serving the next day, to freshen them up.
- Scones freeze well.
I am linking this recipe up to
for national afternoon tea week