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Fruit scones are tricky. Scones are a thing of beauty if you get them right. I'd had several goes at them before Dan Lepard came to rescue with his recipe from 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 fruit 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 no jam. Or crème fraiche. Or nothing and just tear into them when still warm.
They are definitely best 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 pernickety you can defrost, slice and show them the grill, they’ll be good as freshly baked.
fruit sconesServings: 9 sconesTime: about an 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)
- 100g raisins or sultanas, or a mix of both
- beaten egg to brush the tops
Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
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 a paddle attachment to the mixer, or rub in by hand. Add the raisins and mix briefly to coat them in flour. Change the attachment to a dough hook and pour in the yoghurt mix. Work in with the mixer only until it comes together.
Turn out onto a floured board and shape into a round, pat down to about 3 cm high and cut fruit scones with a round cutter (6cm) by pushing it firmly down without twisting. Place the fruit 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.