Monday, February 11, 2008

Lady Irene the Flavorful of the Scone

If you haven't done so already, join the ranks of aristocracy by getting your very own Peculiar Aristocratic Title. It can inspire one to do many noble deeds, from spreading largesse among the populace to cleaning your room. I, however, was inspired to go on a quest. If I were a Knight (and if women could have been Knights), I would put on my suit of armor, grab my trusty sword and jump atop my loyal steed. Judging from the weight of those suits of armor in the museums, however, neither I nor my loyal steed would have that much fun and the whole thing would last about five minutes before we stopped off at a local tea-shop for a hot cup of tea, some muffins and a chat with the nice ladies who run the shop. Which leads me to my modern quest of the day -- the quest for a perfect scone.

It must neither be too hard and crumbly, nor too soft and moist. Just hard enough to hold together while you spread a good bit of cream and jam onto it, but just soft enough to break when you gently spread its hot goodness open with your hands alone. I've tried recipes with egg (didn't like them), without eggs, with buttermilk, with fruit or without, but I still can't find that perfect combination that would be my go-to recipe. I welcome everyone to wander along the culinary forests and meadows with me and post your favorite scone recipe. Help the weary traveler on her loyal steed.


cincan19 said...

Hi Irene! I saw your thread in the Tea Room at the DWG! :)

Anyway, it's funny you should be looking for scone recipes, because I tried this one last week and it came out great! It's the Coffeehouse Scones recipe at (

It is very easy to make, and can be customized, as well. I threw some dried cranberries into mine. Next time I'm going to toss in a bit of orange zest, too.

Irene said...

Excellent! I am going to make it this weekend for brunch. Thank you!

Marykate said...

I saw your blog in the DWG tea room! I've just been on a trip to the Uk, and spent far too much time having tea and scones...yay!

These are plain scones like you get in tea shops in the UK (I got it from a friend of mine who works for the national trust)

225g/8oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
25g/1oz caster sugar
50g/2oz unsalted butter, slightly softened
150ml/¼ pint milk
1 egg, beaten, or plain flour, for brushing or dusting

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar, add the butter and rub quickly into the flour, creating a fine breadcrumb consistency. (I find grating hard butter in makes this much quicker and it only takes a few seconds to finish it off)

3. Add the milk, a little at a time, working to a smooth dough.

4. This is now best left to rest for 5-15 (in the fridge if it's hot) minutes before rolling.

5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until 2cm/¾in thick. Using a 5cm/2in pastry cutter, cut the dough, using one sharp tap and not twisting the dough as you cut. Twisting the scone mix will result in an uneven rising. (though frankly, i roll it out into a square then cut into 9 - I like square scones, plus it reduces handling.)

4. Once cut, the scones can be either brushed with the beaten egg for a shiny glaze, or dusted with the flour for a matt finish.

5. Place the scones on a greased baking tray and bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly, and serve while still warm.

as for additives? sultanas are really the only things I saw in the UK, though at Starbucks they seemed to like adding stuff.

perfect with cream and jam