Being Devonshire born, I have always had a soft spot for a really good cream tea. When it comes to baking scones however, there is absolutely no-one to rival my Grandma. Her scones really are peerless, and she can rustle up a batch at the drop of a hat (or as soon as she hears the doorbell ring). My sons are extremely partial to them, and so when they saw the dozen jars of strawberry jam that I had produced, they were quick to suggest some scones as accompaniment. Thankfully, I had already asked Grandma for her recipe. Being a seasoned cook, she makes them more by instinct than by precision, but she wrote down for me an approximation. I made three batches of scones this last week, and so have had the opportunity to tweak the recipe for ease of understanding. Having lived through the war and imbibed the associated principles of thrift, Grandma does not cut her scones into circles. In order to avoid wasting even the slightest scrap of dough, she forms instead a rectangle, which is then divided up into small triangles. I prefer the traditional circles, but they are delicious either way.
Here it is, the recipe for truly sublime scones. I can’t say that mine have ever been quite as perfect as my Grandma’s, but they certainly come close.
8oz self raising flour
1 1/2 oz butter
1 dessert sp sugar
1/4 pint milk (approx)
Heat the oven to 220c/ 200 (fan), gas 7, grease a flat baking tray
Cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour using your fingertips until it resembles crumbs. Stir in the sugar.
Crack the egg into a measuring jug and whisk with a fork. Add enough milk to make it up to 1/4 pint of liquid in total.
Stir the milk and egg mixture into the flour using the fork. Do not over-mix, just combine briefly to form a moist dough.
Shape into a rectangle, which should be about 3/4 of an inch thick. Cut into six small rectangles, then halve each rectangle into triangles.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the scones are a light golden brown.
Cool slightly on a wire rack.
They are at their very best eaten warm- ideally with clotted cream, and homemade strawberry jam. (Of course, being a Devon girl, I would urge you to spread the cream first, and then top it with the jam.)
How do you like your scones?