I’m so very pleased when I can manage to fit in four runs a week, even though I never try and run very far. Now the weather is getting warmer, my favourite time of day is early morning, when everybody is still sleeping. The air outside is fresh and cool, the insects are gently humming in the background, and there are meadow flowers everywhere, looking particularly bright and cheerful.
Unfortunately, I never quite manage it at the weekends! That’s alright though because the other best time of day to be outside is in the evenings, when you can watch the spectacular pink and blue cloud formations in the sky, the sun is gold and soothing instead of scorching, and the grasshoppers are scraping away in the grass.
When the weather is so beautiful, I guess the last thing you want to do is be tied down to the kitchen trying to bake something complicated. Scones are one of those things that are perfectly synoymous with an English summer, whizzed up in the space of half an hour and perfect to sit out in the sun with :). You don’t want to be running around when the sun is high overhead, so sit down with a scone or two instead.
I really like having dried fruit crammed into my scones. It’s hard, but I’ve got to resist the temptation to add too much as it becomes difficult to stamp out, and the fruit scorches in the oven too. A very small handful is plenty!
- 8 oz self-raising flour
- 1 oz caster sugar
- 2 oz salted butter
- small handful of raisins or sultanas
- 1 egg and a 2 tbsp milk, beaten together
Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Mix the flour and caster sugar together. Rub the butter into the flour until fine and breadcrumby. Add the raisins/sultanas and mix them in well.
Mix in the beaten egg and milk roughly with a knife, and then add more milk to bring it together into a soft, but not sticky dough. Don’t overwork it or it will become tough, and lose the light texture that makes a good scone so moreish.
Onto a floured surface, gently pat or roll the dough out to 1.5-2cm thick, and stamp out rounds with a floured cookie cutter. Glaze the tops with a little extra milk. Don’t let it drip down the sides as this will prevent the scones from rising. Bake for 12 minutes until golden and risen. Transfer onto a cooling rack, and allow to cool. Eat them slightly warm with plenty of cream and jam.