With the Queen's 90th Birthday tomorrow and St George's Day on Saturday we have decided to celebrate by putting together our most patriotic recipe, a recipe for scones. They are by far the easiest English teatime treat to make.
Jamie Oliver says, “ Scones are wonderfully British, delicious, and so simple even a five-year-old could make them. There’s a magic hour just after they come out of the oven when they are so heavenly I just can't imagine why anyone would prefer store-bought scones. Just remember that the less you touch the dough, the shorter and crumblier your scones will be.”
500g self-raising flour
Orange juice for soaking currants
150g cold unsalted butter
2 flat teaspoons baking powder
2 rounded teaspoons caster sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons milk
Milk for brushing top of scones
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6
Put the currants into a bowl and pour over just enough orange juice to cover. Ideally, leave it for a couple of hours.
Put your butter, flour, baking powder, sugar and the pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and use your fingers to break up the butter and rub it into the flour so you get large bread crumb sized pieces. Gently push a dip in the middle of the dough, add the eggs and milk, and stir it up with a wooden spoon.
Drain your soaked fruit and add that to the mixture. Add a tiny splash of milk if needed, until you have a soft, dry dough. Move it around as little as possible to get it looking like a soft but firm dough. Sprinkle over some flour, cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, (or between two layers of cling film, this way can be much easier and less messy) until it’s about 2 to 3cm thick. With a 6cm round cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out circles from the dough and place them upside down on a baking sheet. Re-roll any offcuts to use up the dough. Brush the top of each scone with the extra milk and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until risen and golden.
At that point, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool down a little. Serve with clotted cream and a little jam, fresh strawberries, raspberries or lemon curd. They can also be enjoyed with just a little bit of butter on them.
You can make a batch and instead of cooking them, after cutting them into individuals scones you can freeze them, and cook them straight from the freezer, at 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for 25 minutes, or until golden and lovely.