When scones were chosen as the theme of this month’s Tea Time Treats challenge, I was pretty happy as they’ve been on my to-bake list for a while, and as far as I’m concerned there’s no better way of saying goodbye to winter than with a proper Cornish cream tea.
It wasn’t until I started to look for a recipe that I realised there were so many different versions of the humble scone, and so many things to consider.
Firstly, the flour. Self raising flour? Plain flour and baking powder? Plain flour and bicarbonate of soda? Then there’s the dairy – do you go for milk, buttermilk, cream, yoghurt, butter, no butter… And should they be sweet or savoury? Is adding spices or dried fruit sacrilege?
Faced with so many dilemmas, I eventually settled on this recipe from Jane Hornby, which sounded about right – self raising flour and baking powder, milk soured with lemon and butter. The only change I made was to reduce the sugar and omit the vanilla, as I don’t think scones should really be sweet – that’s what the jam’s for.
As far as I’m concerned, the only way to eat scones is with jam followed by clotted cream – not the other way round, and definitely not with jam and butter!
I did experiment a little, adding a handful of blueberries into my second batch, and eating them with lemon curd instead of jam…
Delicious, but I still think when it comes to scones, the original is always the best!
Classic scones (recipe adapted from BBC Good Food)
Makes 12 small scones
- 175ml milk
- juice of half a lemon
- 350g self-raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 85g butter
- 50g blueberries (optional)
- jam and clotted cream to serve
Stir the lemon juice into the milk and heat for 20 seconds in the microwave. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Slowly add in the milk and cut through the dough with a butter knife, until it’s just starting to come together. If you want to include the blueberries, add them now.
Knead once or twice to bring the dough into a ball, then flatten out with your hands to about 1″ thick. Use a 5cm round cutter to cut out your scones, pressing straight down and not twisting. Place onto a baking sheet, and brush the tops with milk. Bake at 220 degrees on a high self for 9-10 minutes, or until risen and golden brown.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then slice in half and serve with jam and clotted cream.
This is my entry for March’s Tea Time Treats challenge, hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.