The weather is cold and gloomy today and as I'm still resting my knee and not really supposed to drive much, I was at a bit of a loss when I had a sudden craving for something sweet. With this in mind, I trawled through my recipes until I found something I fancied making and came across my favourite Mary Berry scone recipe. The perfect teatime treat, quick easy and even better, I had all the ingredients already in my cupboard although, I will have to forego the clotted cream because I don't have any and I don't want to drive to the shops.
A bit of therapeutic rubbing in of butter, a tad of stirring in of sugar, throw in some eggs and milk and hey presto ......... scones.
I couldn't find a round cutter so I made them in to saucer sized scones and then scored along the top in a cross so I could break each one into four.
Here is the recipe if you would like to have a go. It's from here
450g (1 lb) self-raising flour
2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
75g (3 oz) butter, at room temperature
50g (2 oz) caster sugar
about 225 ml (8 fl oz) milk.
The secret of good scones is not to handle them too much before baking, and to make the mixture on the wet, sticky side. Either eat scones on the day of making or freeze once they have completely cooled. If time allows, thaw them at room temperature for a couple of hours and then refresh in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes. If you like large scones, this amount of mixture will make 8-10 9cm (3 ½ inch) scones.
Preparation time: about 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Makes about 20 scones
Lightly grease two baking trays. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
Measure the flour and baking powder into a processor. Add the butter and process until a crumble, then add the sugar. Or make by hand by rubbing the butter into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
Beat the eggs together until blended and make up to a generous 300ml (1/2 pint) with the milk, then put about 2 tablespoons of the egg/milk aside in a cup for glazing the scones later. Gradually add the egg/milk mixture to the dry ingredients until you have a soft dough. It is far better that the scone mixture is on the wet side, sticking to your fingers, as the scones will rise better.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten it out with your hand, or use a rolling pin, to a thickness of 1-2 cm (1/2 – ¾ inch). Use a 5 cm (2 inch) fluted cutter to stamp out the dough by pushing the cutter straight down into the dough (as opposed to twisting the cutter) then lift it straight out. This ensures that the scones will rise evenly and keep their shape. Gently push the remaining dough together, knead very lightly then re-roll and cut more scones out as before.
Arrange the scones on the prepared baking trays and brush the tops with the reserved beaten egg/milk mixture to glaze. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the scones are well risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack, covered with a clean tea towel to keep them moist. Serve as fresh as possible, cut in half and spread generously with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
There was also another little surprise. Lurking in my planters yesterday, amongst the frozen hail stones were some teeny tiny little shoot of green poking their way out into the frosty air. Not entirely sure what they are, daffodils I think, but I can't be certain at the moment because I found a whole bag full of mixed bulbs lurking in the cupboard and I just bunged them into my pots. They looked a bit past their best and I didn't know if they would actually grow but I guess they were very hardy little bulbs. I can't wait to see what they turn into :-)