Scones are just the thing for that moment when you realise that it’s three o’clock and there’s nothing for tea. I don’t know about your children, but mine have an inbuilt timer which tells them when it’s four o’clock. In fact, talking to Ilse the other day I realised that she thinks the whole world grinds to a halt at precisely that time for a cup of tea and a little something to keep them going.
This recipe comes from my granddad’s wife, who is a very good cook. They are one of my granddad’s very favourite things to eat. When I last went to visit him, he told me that I must include these scones on my blog. So here they are.
2 oz/ 50g fat (I use butter)
8 oz/ 225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 oz/ 50g sugar
a little milk
Simply rub the fat and flour together to make a sandy breadcrumb mixture, just as if you were making pastry. Stir in the sugar, then add a handful of whatever you like: sultanas, cranberries, chopped apricots. You can leave out the sugar and add grated cheese at this point, too.
Add the milk, a little at a time, until it all comes together. Again, this is just like making pastry. You don’t want the mixture to be sticky.
Use your hands to encourage it to form a soft dough, handling it as little as possible. Then, on a floured surface, roll it out until it is about 2cm thick. Cut into rounds – you should get about eight out of these ingredients – and press the final scraps into a rock bun shaped scone. This is for you, as soon as they come out of the oven. Just to check they’re edible, of course.
Bake at 180 degrees Celcius/ 350 degrees Farenheit/ gas mark 4 for 15-20 minutes, then serve warm, if possible.
You can eat these as they are, but I like them best cut in two, with a big slab of butter melting into the still warm crumb. Then again, I like most things better with the addition of butter. The children like them best with butter and jam. But for a very special treat, such as a birthday tea, serve them with clotted cream and strawberry conserve. This was what Fliss requested for her special day last summer, and they appeared hot from the oven just after the last of the dainty sandwiches disappeared, and before we lit the candles on her big iced cake.