– Juanita Loubser
(SHORTCUT, FRESH, TASTY)
“You can separate the ‘leaves’ inside these scones like pages in a book. The big secret is butter, cream, milk and eggs,” Juanita says. “Never add sugar, especially if you’re serving them with jam, as they’ll not only be overly sweet but will lose their light texture.”
MAKES 12 SCONES Preparation time: 20-25 min Baking time: 40 min Cooling time: 20 min
1 kg (4 c) self-raising flour pinch of salt 250 g cold butter, grated 250 ml (1 c) cold milk 125 ml (½ c) cream 4 eggs cream and jam or cheese to serve
Preheat the oven to 230 °C and grease a baking sheet.
1 Sift together the flour and salt.
2 Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour.
3 Whisk together the milk, cream and eggs. Add to the flour mixture a little at a time, cutting the liquid in with a knife.
4 When the dough starts coming together, turn it out on a clean surface and lightly press together but don’t squeeze (the flour won’t incorporate completely and often a little of the liquid will be left over because eggs differ and moisture in the flour or in the air can influence the consistency).
5 Shape the dough into an even rectangle about 1,5 cm thick. Don’t use a rolling pin.
6 Cut out scones with a round cookie cutter – only press down, don’t turn the cutter as the scones won’t rise as you’d like them to. Arrange the scones fairly close together on the baking sheet. They’ll rise upwards but won’t expand to the sides. The closer they are together, the more moisture will be retained.
7 Bake for 8-10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180 °C and bake for a further 30 minutes. Over the years I’ve noticed that the new convection ovens are cooler. So you have to know your oven and if it tends to be on the hot side, make sure the second bake is at a low enough temperature to cook the scones until done inside.
8 When the scones are golden brown, remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Serve with cream and jam or cheese.
It’s important to know your oven’s unique temperature