Bring­ing back the old scone

Jaffa and rasp­berry and white cho­co­late va­ri­eties fire up the imag­i­na­tion

Isis Town and Country - - Life Easy Eating - Sue Clo­hesy

IAM bring­ing scones back, and they’re good. I love scones be­cause of their tex­ture; they are so dif­fer­ent to a cake or muf­fin. Long gone are the days where scones were only served with jam and cream and a cup of tea when you had spe­cial vis­i­tors drop by. They were nice, but they were pre­dictable, and pre­dictable can be­come bor­ing. Most bak­eries and cafes still stock scones, be it plain, date or pump­kin. If you’re lucky, you might stum­ble across some­thing a lit­tle more ex­cit­ing, but not of­ten. So I’m go­ing to give you a fool­proof scone recipe base and then some de­li­cious in­gre­di­ents to add to it. And don’t stop there. Once you can make a de­cent batch of scones, you are only limited by your imag­i­na­tion. I en­joy whip­ping up batches of Mars Bar scones, pizza scones, cheese and herb or lemon scones. But with the aim of us­ing lo­cal sea­sonal pro­duce, I ex­per­i­mented with or­anges and rasp­ber­ries, and came up with Jaffa scones and rasp­berry and white cho­co­late scones. While rasp­ber­ries aren’t al­ways avail­able through­out win­ter, they have ap­peared at my farm­ers’ mar­ket for the past two weeks, much to my ex­cite­ment. Rasp­ber­ries and or­anges are so ver­sa­tile and are great to cook with. Or­anges are su­per sweet at the mo­ment and the boost of vi­ta­min C might help keep win­ter colds at bay. There are a cou­ple of tricks to scones to en­sure suc­cess ev­ery time: Do not over­work the dough when mix­ing and knead­ing, this will make them dense. Place scones next to each other in oven tin/dish to help them rise up rather than out. Do not cook un­til brown on top (de­pend­ing on your oven). Usu­ally by then they will be over­cooked in­side. You want the mix­ture to have just cooked through.

Ba­sic scone recipe In­gre­di­ents

2 cups self-rais­ing flour 3/4 cup milk (or ½ cup milk and ½ cup lemon­ade) 1 ta­ble­spoon but­ter Pinch of salt

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Mix salt into the flour in a large bowl. Add the but­ter and use the tips of your fin­gers to rub the but­ter into the flour. It will be­come crumbly and end up as part of the flour – do not leave lumps of but­ter un­mixed. Pour in the milk and use a wooden spoon to gen­tly mix un­til just com­bined. Tip ex­tra flour on to a bench and turn out your mix­ture and knead un­til just smooth. Roll out your dough to 2.5cm high. Cut out scones with a round cut­ter and place in a greased cake tin close to­gether. Paint the top of the scones with a lit­tle ex­tra milk and cook in the oven for 12-15 min­utes and a skewer comes out clean.

Jaffa:

Add the zest of one orange and a ta­ble­spoon of good qual­ity cocoa af­ter step 3. Omit half of the milk and re­place with freshly squeezed orange juice in step 4.

Rasp­berry and white cho­co­late:

Add 1 pun­net of rasp­ber­ries and ¾ cup white cho­co­late drops at the start of step 4. Serve and en­joy.

PHOTO: SUE CLO­HESY

TASTY: Try these de­li­cious scones. Keep them plain, or you can add rasp­ber­ries or white cho­co­late for an in­ter­est­ing twist.

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