Fruit Scones

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.

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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!

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Fruit Scones

  • 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
  • Milk

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.

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Scones and a Surfeit of Cream

I keep accumulating bits and bobs I don’t want to waste. One of these was a total fail at freezing cream. The instructions always tell you to whip the cream up before freezing it, but I thought I’d be lazy and didn’t. On defrosting, the split mixture didn’t seem all that promising.

So, onto the internets for the solution, and I found a recipe for scones. Only 3 ingredients were required: flour, cream, and lemonade!

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Lemonade scones look like they originate from Australia. I’ve only ever made the traditional English recipe with butter, flour, an egg and a dash of milk, so I was intruiged.

First, out to go and buy some lemonade. We’re not big lemonade drinkers in this household. Then I had to figure out the British conversions for Australian cups. Hmm, confusing. As I was making them, I threw in some sultanas too. I love fruit-packed scones.

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When I made up the scone mixture, it already felt very light whilst I was handling the dough, so I had high hopes. It was a bit wetter than my usual dough, but nothing floury hands couldn’t handle. I popped them into the oven, realised I’d forgotten to eggwash the tops, but nevermind. They were rising like mad in the heat!

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Out of the oven, and onto a cooling rack, I was delighted by how puffy and tall my scones were. Texturally, they are the lightest scones I have ever baked. Feather-light absolutely describes these. Eaten plain, they didn’t taste of much, with a slight tang of fizzy lemonade…disappointing. Once the jam and cream was laden on top, you didn’t notice anymore. If your philosophy in life is that scones are mere vehicles for as much cream and jam as possible, this doesn’t matter! However, if I wasn’t eating them with extras I would say these scones definitely require additional flavouring.

I don’t think lemonade scones will quite replace my usual recipe. The use of fizzy lemonade makes me a little uneasy as it’s full of artificial additives like aspartame. I’m not sure if more natural alternatives end up doing the same job. All the same, it’s a quick and easy recipe to keep by, and worth trying out!

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On another note. I was browsing on Pinterest, and came across these horrific red velvet variants. With frosting! Sacrilege on scones, urgh, enough to make my insides curdle.

Scones

Anyone who knows me well will know that I love scones. I had a strong hankering after some today, and being rainy, it seemed like the perfect baking weather. I wanted to try out Dan Lepard’s recipe for his Everyday Scones, which changes the original method to mix together natural yoghurt, a small amount of sugar and some cream in with flour and raising agent. I didn’t have the exact ingredients available, so I used self-raising flour instead of adding bicarbonate and cream of tartar – and single cream was on offer so I used that instead of the double cream Dan Lepard states in his recipe.

I also made some fruit scones by adding a handful of sultanas to my go-to scone recipe. I used single cream here as I was trying to use it up but personally I would stick to milk as cream imparts too rich a flavour which is slightly sickening.

Although it is not essential to eggwash the tops of the scones before baking, they do go a beautiful golden colour which makes them look infinitely more tempting. The Dan Lepard scones came out looking a bit neater, but I think the lopsided nature of the fruited scones may have been thanks to the presence of the sultanas, which I imagine have have a distorting effect on the rise.

I managed to go for a run this morning. It was very difficult getting myself going, I was horribly congested, and I think a lot of passersby looked at me like I was mad, but I did it! Woohoo. Felt fine afterwards, no worse, but no better than before. I think being in a steamy kitchen baking helped a lot though! 😀

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