Thu, 11 September, 2014
The best fruit scones recipe - these scones are light, almost fluffy, not stodgy and studded with plenty of raisins, perfect for a classic English cream tea. Tip for best scones: don't twist the cutter and don't overbake the scones!
Scones are tricky. Apparently the easiest, simplest, plainest bakery product are amazing if you get them right. If you don't, they are squatty, stodgy, sticky things tasting mainly of baking powder. I'd had several failed attempts before I got my inspiration from Dan Lepard's book Short & Sweet – The Best of Home Baking.
There are a couple of very simple tricks to them: let the wet mix stand for a while until it comes to room temperature and the sugar dissolves. Let the cut scones stand in the tray for 20 minutes before going to the oven. And last but not least – DON’T TWIST when cutting. Once you’ve got that mastered you can then ponder whether to put jam on first, or cream. Or butter and no jam. Or crème fraiche. Or nothing and just tear into them when still warm.
They are definitely the best when still warm from the oven, but if there are only two of you there’s no way you’ll polish them all off warm. You can try. Or else they freeze beautifully, or rather defrost beautifully, and if you’re really persnickety you can defrost one, slice it and show it the grill briefly. It’ll be good as freshly baked.
fruit sconesServings: 9 sconesTime: 1 hour
- 250g plain yoghurt
- 20g double cream
- 25g caster sugar
- 400g plain flour
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp bicarb of soda
- 50g softened butter (if using salted, don’t add salt), diced
- 100g raisins or sultanas, or a mix of both
- beaten egg to brush the tops
1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
2. Mix the yoghurt with cream and sugar, let it stand for a good while until the sugar dissolves. Mix the flour, salt, bicarb and cream of tartar in a bowl, add diced butter and mix using an electric mixer, or rub in by hand.
3. Add the raisins and mix briefly to coat them in flour. Pour in the yoghurt mix. Work it in with the mixer or with a spatula until it just comes together.
4. Turn it out onto a floured board and shape into a round, pat down to a disc about 3 cm high. Cut scones with a round cutter (6cm) by pushing it firmly down without twisting.
5. Place the scones well apart in a deep roasting tin lined with parchment, brush them with beaten egg and let them rest for 20 minutes. Bake for 15-18 minutes until firm to touch and golden on top.