I’m a bit obsessed with scones and make them whenever I can. This recipe was given to me by Karen, an old family friend and has served me very well for years.
This makes six medium scones or ten little ones. Make them with smooth or fluted edges, depending on your fancy or indeed the cutters you have. (Perhaps you’ve resorted to using a jam jar or drinking glass because you’ve just moved house and can’t find the blasted cutters.)
Serve them with jam and butter or clotted cream. The order in which they go on a scone is a deeply divisive issue so I will say only this: jam first in Cornwall, cream first in Devon. My husband, a West country man having lived in both Devon and Cornwall, is oddly disinterested in this contentious matter, preferring simply to eat the scones.
Scones can be made sweet or savoury. For sweet scones, you can add raisins or add the zest of an orange along with some cranberries, mixed peel and raisins – a handful in total of these combined. The orange zest adds a lovely but subtle flavour. I liked it so much, I might put orange zest in all my scones from now on.
For savoury scones, you can just leave the sugar out. I like to make them with chapatti flour but a mixture of one third wholemeal and two-thirds self-raising flour gives a nice result – don’t forget to add a scant teaspoon of baking powder if you don’t have wholemeal self-raising flour in stock.) You can also add cheese (or nutritional yeast for a vegan option) and fresh herbs. Cheddar (25g grated cheese for this recipe) and thyme or rosemary, sundried tomatoes, olives and feta are both very nice combinations. Serve warm with butter or cream cheese. If you’re feeling fancy, you can make herb butter!
Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
200g self-raising flour
50g butter or vegan Stork baking block, chilled
25g caster sugar
125ml milk or plant-based milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
A handful of raisins, if you would like ‘fruited’ scones. (The word ‘fruited’ seems to promise rather more than a few raisins, but that’s what they call them.)
1. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces, about the size of your little fingernail. Rub in by hand or using a stand mixer or food processor. The mixture should look like breadcrumbs.
2. Add the sugar and baking powder. Then slowly add the milk – you will need less if using a plant-based milk. Add the raisins and other dried fruit and orange zest if using.
3. Gather the mixture into a dough, without kneading it. The dough should be moist but not leave your hands covered in a mess.
4. Tip onto a floured surface and with your hands, flatten into a round(ish) about an inch high.
5. Cut out your scones, then reshape the dough to cut out some more and use up all the dough.
6. Brush the tops with a little milk.
6. Place onto a greased tray. Leave a little space between each one. Bake for 15 minutes if your scones are small and 20 if bigger. (My tray below is clearly very well loved.)
7. Allow them to cool a little and remove from the tray with a knife or spatula to lift them off cleanly. Eat as soon as possible, while they are still fresh and ideally, warm. Sadly, they don’t keep very well but you can reheat them in the oven the next day, or from frozen.