It's summer here and it's so beautiful. London is quieter, warmer, friendlier, and it's almost hard to imagine that we regularly spend our summer days under grey skies, shielding ourselves from the rain. This summer has actually been a summer so far, and almost everyone's loving it. Just this morning I was fifteen minutes early to work and spent ten of them just standing outside, face turned up to the sky.
Last weekend saw my Mum, our eighteen-year old cat Catkin, and I take a little expedition to visit family. It was a palaver and an adventure, not helped by the fact that I'd decided to get my very first spray tan done that morning and so had to sit in suspended animation for the entire journey. Catkin howled, I looked like a patchily-bronzed statue, and my Mum was left wondering how she ended up in a car of such misfits.
Nevertheless, we arrived safe and well, had a wonderful weekend, and now it's already Thursday and I can't believe another week has flown by. The weekend was book-ended by Olivia being home, so Friday and Monday were a delightful whirlwind of bridal shops, bridesmaid dresses, a naughty Big Easy dinner with Flynn, and delicious coffee at Poilane.
As you may know if you follow my Instagram feed, these scones have been in the making for a little while. I was first introduced to the recipe by my neighbour, Pauline. We've had a few afternoon teas at hers over the years and more often than not she'll pull these scones out of the oven. Eventually I just had to ask her for the recipe. Not long later, a photocopy floated through my letterbox, and now I can pass this brilliant recipe on to you. I like to serve them with either butter or whipped vanilla cream, along with Homemade Raspberry Jam. A cat who wants to steal your cream is optional, but highly recommended.
Yield: 18 scones Time: 30 minutes
for the scones
450g self-raising flour
2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
225ml milk (approximately)
for the cream
200ml cream, whipped
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
for the jam
see Homemade Raspberry Jam recipe here
Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Heat your oven to 200C / 425F / Gas Mark 7.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it between your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Pour the eggs into a measuring jug and add in enough milk to make it up to a generous 300ml. Put a tablespoon's worth of the mixture to one side to use for glazing the scones later.
- Gradually add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until you have a soft dough. The mixture will stick to your hands.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten it out with your hand (or a rolling pin) to a thickness of 1-2cm (1/2 - 1in).
- Using a 5cm (2in) fluted cutter, stamp out the scones by pressing firmly down and lifting. Gently push the remaining dough together, knead very lightly and then re-roll and repeat until you've used up all the dough.
- Place the scones on the lined baking trays and brush the tops with the reserved beaten egg mixture.
- Bake for 10 minutes or so until well-risen and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, covering with a tea towel to ensure their freshness. Serve as fresh as possible with jam and cream (or butter!).
It's much better to have a wet mixture than a dry mixture as it will rise better!
Try not to twist the cutter whilst stamping the scones out of the dough, as the smooth edges you get by simply pressing straight down help them to rise evenly and keep their shape.
Scones are always best eaten fresh and really don't last long. All the more reason to eat and share them all at once!