Scones are a simple but delicious treat that can be put together easily but tastes delightful especially when still warm from the oven. Home baked scones at tea-time is always something to look forward to, and even if you have unexpected guests they can be quickly baked. The aroma of freshly cooked scones is so enticing, and the variety is also a plus for the good old scone, plain, fruited, cherry, cheese or experiment with flavours of your own. Classic scones are traditionally served together with a combination of fresh thick clotted cream and jam, a traditional cream tea, there’s always a debate over which goes on the scone first is it jam first or the cream first? I don’t mind which, but using my own homemade plum jam is definitely a delicious option.
The word Scone has been around since 1513 and origins are debatable including methods of cooking and ingredients. Pronunciation of scone too, has been deliberated on and fiercely defended, some say scone as in Gone, and Some pronounce scone as in Own, personally I just know they taste delicious!
A cream tea is a simple but special treat, one that evokes times past and tradition, but the act of preparing tea and sitting together with friends and family can be a time to wind down, to chat and have a heart to heart, so not only a delicious treat, but a heartwarming one too, in any season. 😊
‘We’ll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place’
Quote from The Wind in the Willows
Recipe for plain sweet scones
350g/12oz Self raising flour
3 tbsp Caster sugar or golden caster sugar, my preference
1tsp Baking powder
Pinch of salt
175ml/6fl oz Milk
A squeeze of lemon juice
1 Beaten egg to glaze (Optional.)
For fruit scones add 100g/3 ½ oz sultanas or glace cherries and increase the baking powder by ½ teaspoon.
(For cheese Scones add 100g/ 3 ½ oz strong cheddar cheese and a pinch of cayenne pepper.)
Preheat oven to 220c / 200c fan assisted/ Gas 7
Prepare an oven sheet or flat tray with greaseproof paper/parchment.
Into a large mixing bowl, add the baking powder and salt and mix well.
Cut the butter into cubes and add to the dry ingredients in the bowl, rub in the butter using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. (I find having cold hands before starting this step will help, I run cold water over my hands first, so that my warm fingers don’t melt the butter too easily while rubbing in the butter. Drying them first of course before starting the rubbing in.)
Stir in the sugar. Add fruit now for fruity scones. If making plain unsweetened scones, leave out the sugar. For cheese ones add the grated cheese now, mixing well.
Warm the milk gently, not too hot and add to a jug, now add a squeeze of lemon juice. Put to one side.
Make a hollow in the centre of the dry mix and pour the milky mixture in, stir with a metal knife or metal spoon until combined into a dough. Don’t worry if at first, it’s a little wet looking.
Flour the work surface and your hands before preparing the dough. Tip the scone dough onto the floured surface and pat it over into a ball before gently patting it down into a round, flattened to about 4cm/1 ½ inches flour a 5cm/2inch cutter and cut out as many scones as you can from the dough, any excess dough, do the same after flattening out to the same thickness. A sharper, cleaner cut makes them rise better so a good cutter is worth it.
Put the scones onto a greased, prepared baking sheet/tray and coat the tops with beaten egg for a glossy glazed look, then into the oven for roughly 10 mins, but stay close and take them out once well risen and golden.
Serve as you like them, with or without the clotted cream and jam, hot or cold. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.
Freeze on the day of baking once cold. They still taste delicious once reheated gently in the oven after defrosting at room temperature.
Nutrition for plain sweet scones without jam and cream, per scone.
kcal = 268
Fat = 10g
Carbs = 41g
Sugars = 8g
Fibre = 1g
Protein = 6g
Salt = 0.95g
The more you experiment with the recipe and feel confident to make changes the more fun baking becomes. Scones are a lovely treat, nice for a traditional cream tea, or to pack up for a walking snack, moderation is key and always best when shared!