I have to say that I think scones are some of the most magically delicious baked goods ever. They may be plain but never fail to hit the spot. However, there are few things worse than stale scones and, as there are only two of us in the house, the likelihood that at least a few of the dozen this recipe makes would be pretty inedible by the time we got to it. No worries–I have solved the problem with my freezer. These babies freeze without any degredation in quality and can even be baked from frozen simply by getting them out of the freezer as your oven preheats and adding a couple of minutes to the cooking time if the scones seem to need it. To always have fresh scones, just roll out, cut out, and store in a freezer container between layers of parchment paper or plastic wrap (cling film).
Also in this post, I’m giving you my recipe for homemade strawberry jam. It’s a very small batch so that you won’t have to buy loads of strawberries and you’ll just be able to keep the jam in the refrigerator and not have to process it. Neither Paul nor I eat enough jam to justify making and canning an enormous amount of strawberry jam. Just the thought of cleaning everything would send me off to the store to buy a jar of Bonne Maman! If you decide to try your hand at making your own jam just be sure to make it well enough in advance so it can cool completely.
2 cups/8 ounces/250 g all-purpose flour (plain flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/4 cup/2 ounces/50 g sugar
4 tablespoons/2 ounces/50 g unsalted butter, chilled and finely diced
2/3 cup/1/4 Imperial pint/150 ml milk
Preheat oven to 400˚ Fahrenheit (200˚ Celsius).
To a large bowl, add the flour, salt, cream of tartar, baking powder, soda and sugar. Aerate and combine with a whisk.
Add the butter and rub the mixture between the fingers until the dough resembles a coarse sand.
Make a well, pour in the milk and cut in with a knife. Knead with the hands until the dough is smooth.
Roll the dough out to 3/4-inch (about 2 cm) thickness and cut out twelve scones using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter. (The closest standard metric cutter is 68mm.) Bake for 8-10 minutes on a greased baking sheet until the tops of the scones are a golden brown.
Serve with clotted cream and strawberry jam.
Makes 12 scones
Adapted from The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook.
6 ounces/170g strawberries, halved if large
6 ounces/170g sugar
Stirring frequently, heat the strawberries and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves into the strawberries. When this happens, turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil the mixture without stirring for two minutes then remove the pan from the heat and pour the goo into a pyrex container and refrigerate. It is best to make this well in advance so it has enough time to cool completely and set up.
Makes approximately 1 pint (3/4 Imperial pint)