I went out to dinner with friends last night (I know, it’s a miracle!) and this morning I felt like having a real weekend breakfast; that meant something which is more of a treat that something that would keep me going all day! I was even debating on having a piece of the chocolate cake I made a couple of days ago with my daughter, (type Chocolate Cake in my search box to the right for recipe). It wasn’t the guilt that stopped me, it was spotting the raspberry jam sitting side by side with a carton of heavy cream which diverted me!
I love scones. In fact, when I started this blog, it was my very first post. It reminds me of so many great things from my past; my lovely mother, who could throw a batch of scones, or a loaf of soda bread together with one arm tied behind her back and her eyes closed. She never measured a thing, just dumped the flour onto the table and added whatever else on her whim. She made the most incredible soda bread dotted with little currants. We had dinner at 1pm every day, and tea at about 6 o’ clock in the evening. Tea could be anything from a ham sandwich to bread and jam. The best day was when we would pile in for tea (all 6 kids!) and on the middle of the table would be a plate, piled high with her currant bread, butter still melting from the warmth of the dough – absolute Yum! We couldn’t eat it fast enough, all washed down with big strong cups of milky tea.
Try as I might, I am incapable of replicating it. I should stop measuring, close my eyes and think of her deft floury hands.
It is because of the years of watching her bake bread and scones in this fashion that I make scones to this day without using a recipe. I make countless subtle variations depending on what I am using them for, and what ingredients I have on hand. If I don’t have buttermilk, I use milk and baking powder (instead of baking soda with the buttermilk). I’ve even resorted to diluted sour cream if I don’t have enough milk. I’ve made them with butter, with butter and eggs, cheese, bacon bits, lots of black pepper, on and on.
This morning I wanted sweet and creamy scones, so I added an egg and some sugar to make it richer. I had it with cream and raspberry jam, and, you certainly could serve it for dessert like this. My kids had it with bacon. It is also good topped with a fried egg. It is such a simple thing to make, however, the accolades your receive are enormous if you present fresh warm scones to the people you love, first thing in the morning!
You will need: 2 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur brand), 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tbs sugar (I use Raw Brown sugar), 4 tbs (4oz) cold unsalted butter, 1 egg, 3/4 cup buttermilk. raspberry jam, freshly whipped cream.
Preheat oven 375*
1 – In big bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
2 – Add the butter in thin slices and work it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a fine meal.
3 – Combine the egg and buttermilk with a fork. Make a well in the flour and add. Mix together until it binds into a solid piece with a wooden spoon. Don’t over-mix.
4 – Turn dough out onto a floured surface and flatten gently into a 1″ disk with the palm of your hand. Press out scones with a 2″ cookie or biscuit cutter. Place on lightly floured baking tray and brush the tops with a little of the dregs of the egg-buttermilk mixture. Bake for 16 to 17 minutes (until golden brown)
5 – Cool on a wire rack until warm (about 5 minutes) Whip some fresh cream until nice and thick, split scone and lavishly spread some jam on bottom half and top with lots of cream. Put top on and it’s ready to eat!
Here is a fun pictorial of what we had for dinner while out last night!