April 29, 2011

English Scones

It’s been almost 30 years since that early morning when I ran down the stairs, determined not to miss a moment of Prince Charles’ wedding to Lady Diana. I can still picture Diana arriving at St. Paul’s Cathedral in her Cinderella glass coach, wearing her elaborate wedding gown with its puffed sleeves and 25-foot train.

And this morning I watched as Diana’s son, William, got married with all the same pomp and circumstance. His bride looked beautiful and elegant, absolutely radiant. And they both looked so happy. I couldn't help but grin when William leaned over and whispered something to Kate, making her smile up there in front of all their guests.

What a wonderful wedding, full of history, pageantry and romance! And what better way to celebrate a British wedding than with some warm English scones?

English scones are smaller and less sweet than the American variety, closer to American biscuits in taste and texture. English scones often contain dried fruits like currants or raisins, and they’re traditionally eaten with jam and clotted cream.

My scones were light and tender, delicious with raspberry jam and homemade butter. They were a lovely accompaniment to a fairytale wedding — hopefully one with a happy ending.

To make these scones, sift the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Sifting the flour helps make the scones light.

Cut the butter into the flour with your fingers or a knife.

Then rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a hand mixer until it resembles breadcrumbs. (I used a hand mixer.)

Make a well in the center and add an egg.

Add the milk a little at a time, mixing the ingredients together until the flour is incorporated and you’ve formed a dough.

Place the dough on a floured board or counter.

Roll it out until it is ¾ inch thick. Use a ruler to measure this if you can as the thickness will affect baking time. Cut out 2-inch circles with a biscuit cutter dipped in flour.

Place the scones on the baking sheet and brush the tops with milk.

Bake until the scones are golden brown.

Top with butter and jam and enjoy!

English Scones

Adapted from a recipe on Kitchen Report

The key to making perfect scones is to use self-rising flour. Work quickly and lightly and handle the dough as little as possible.

2 cups self-rising flour (If you don’t have self-rising flour, use 1 teaspoon baking powder for every cup of flour. This is what I did and it worked out fine.)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
¼ cup dried fruit, such as currents, raisins, or cranberries (optional)
5 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (approximately)

 1.      Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

2.      Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add sugar, salt and dried fruit (if you are using it). Cut the butter into the bowl with a knife or pastry cutter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. (You can also use a hand mixer to do this.)

3.      Make a well in the center of the mixture and drop in the egg. Adding a portion of the milk at a time, stir the egg and milk into the dough using a spatula. How much milk you use depends on the size of the egg (I ended up using the entire ½ cup). The dough should incorporate all the flour, but it shouldn’t be wet and sticky.

4.      Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Roll the dough lightly with a rolling pin until about 3/4 inch thick. Cut with a 2-inch round biscuit cutter dipped in flour.

5.      Place rounds on the greased or lined baking sheet. Brush milk onto the tops of the scones with a pastry brush. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

6.      Remove the scones from the baking sheet and place them onto a cooling rack covered with a tea towel. Place another tea towel on top of the scones. This traps the steam and keeps the scones from drying out as they cool.

7.      Serve warm with jam and clotted cream, unsweetened whipped cream or butter.

Makes 12 scones.

Note: You can freeze leftover scones for several weeks. To reheat, wrap a frozen scone in a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.

1 comment:

  1. Just made these this morning. Awesome. Served it w/ some butter & whipped cream. Also goes great w/ some fresh homemade blueberry sauce.


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