(Originally published, Feb-2016. Updated by Tania, June-2019)
Scones……when I make them, I always feel like I’m a farmer’s wife, lol, probably because I prefer to make big, rustic looking ones. Maybe because I spent a lot of time growing up on a farm with my Nana, who was always in the kitchen.
I’ve always been a bit rubbish at making scones, they seem to hate me….honestly, they just won’t behave for me and do all sorts of strange things that defy all laws of baking haha!….of course it may just be me…….surely not! This recipe, however, has been kind to me and my lack of scone talent. I found it in a mag a long time ago and when I saw it contained eggs and cream….well, it had me at ‘hello’. It makes a rich, buttery, flaky scone and they taste great. I occasionally change their size and shape and cooking time or the measurements and flavour, but I still stick to the base ingredients and they turn out fab every time. 🙂
A little bit of Scone history – Scones are said to have originated in Scotland in the early 1500s. They were originally a ‘quick-bread’ (no yeast), made with oats and cooked on a griddle, whereas the scones of today are made with flour and baked in the oven.
The word ‘Scone’ may originate from a few places. Some say it comes from the Dutch word ‘schoonbrot’, which means beautiful bread, while others argue the word is Scottish and is from ‘The Stone of Destiny’, where the Kings of Scotland were crowned. My heritage is Scottish so I’ll go for that version (sorry to my Dutch mates!).
Scones, served with clotted cream became fashionable in England when in the late 1700s, Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, one late afternoon, ordered the servants to bring tea and some sweet breads, which included scones. She enjoyed them so much that she ordered it every afternoon at four o’clock and that is where the English tradition of ‘Afternoon Tea’, ‘High Tea’ and ‘Tea Time’ came from.
½ teaspoon butter
½ teaspoon standard flour
3 medium-large (I used size 7’s)
¾ cup / 190 ml fresh cream
3 cups / 300 g standard flour
¼ cup / 55 g castor sugar
4 level teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
150 g butter (cold)
¾ cup / 100 g fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons castor sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Makes 6 large or 8 medium-sized scones
- If you are using frozen blueberries it’s best not to defrost them first because their colour tends to ‘bleed’ in the scones, they are still yummy though. I prefer fresh ones as they kind of just burst in your mouth 🙂
- The larger amount of butter in the ingredients list needs to be really cold for this recipe as it gives them a flakier texture. So, I only take it from the fridge or freezer when I am at that part.
- Adding a tablespoon of lemon or orange zest would be lovely in these scones.
STEP BY STEP
First, prepare a baking tray so it’s ready to go as soon as you’ve made the scone mix.
Place a sheet of baking paper on an oven tray, grease it with the ½ teaspoon of butter and then sprinkle the ½ teaspoon of flour lightly over the butter.
Starting on the scones…
Add the eggs and the cream to a medium-sized bowl and…
…whisk them together until they’re well blended. Leaving them aside for now.
Next, place an oven rack just above the centre of the oven and turn it to 170°C fan-bake oven or 190°C conventional oven, on bake.
In a large bowl, place the flour, castor sugar, baking powder and salt and stir it all together.
Retrieve the butter from the fridge and using a cheese grater, grate it into the bowl, on top of the dry ingredients.
- You can cut the butter up into little cubes and then add it but I think grating it makes faster work of ‘cutting it in’.
- The butter must be very cold or when you are ‘cutting it in’ it will create soft lumps rather than the fine ‘breadcrumb’ texture needed for ‘flaky’ scones.
Using a pastry cutter or if you want to feel super creative and ‘earthy’, use your fingertips to cut/rub the butter into the drys, until it resembles little bread crumbs.
- Try to do this quickly so the butter doesn’t have time to soften too much from the heat of your hands.
After that, make a ‘rough’ well in the centre of the ‘crumbs’ and…
…add to it, the blueberries, along with the eggs and cream mixture.
Fold it all together with a very large spoon, leaving a wee bit of flour around the sides and…
- I always leave a wee bit of flour around the bowl to make sure I haven’t over-mixed it.
…tip out the scone dough (including any crumbs or excess flour) onto a clean, dry bench.
Using your clean, dry hands, form the dough into a rough ball.
- I say ‘rough’ because the less you handle the dough the better your scones will turn out, as they don’t like to be over-mixed (they won’t rise as well).
Place the ball onto the prepared oven tray and gently it flatten out (without pressing down too hard) into a 20 cm circle.
Cut the circle into 6 or 8 ‘evenish’ wedges and…
…then pull each one out a little, leaving a 2 – 3 cm gap between them.
- Keeping them close together like this will help them rise and also, stop the edges from drying out (similar to when you buy buns that are still joined together).
To help them brown nicely, use a pastry brush to brush the tops all over with the tablespoon of milk.
Pop them into the oven to bake for 30 minutes (6 large) or 25 minutes (8 medium-sized), or until a sharp knife pierced into the centre (I go in from the side) comes out clean (with no crumbs on it).
Once done, slide the scones (still on the paper) onto an oven rack so they can cool down faster, hence bringing ‘eating time’ closer!
Simply stir together the 2 teaspoons of castor sugar and the ½ teaspoon of cinnamon.
Before moving them from the tray, sprinkle it over the tops of the scones (my favourite part, probably because it’s so close to eating them)!
Best devoured warm or at room temperature! 🙂
Spread with ‘real’ butter and served with whipped cream, blueberry jam, or marmalade. Also, lemon, lime or orange curd makes a delicious addition (especially if you’ve added citrus zest).
Keepin’ em fresh – Just like muffins, it’s my opinion that scones should be eaten on the day they are baked. If not, they’ll keep an extra day in an air-tight container, in the pantry. To freshen them up a tad, you can warm each one up in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Farmhouse Blueberry Scones
- ½ teaspoon butter
- ½ teaspoon standard flour
- 3 medium-large I used size 7's
- ¾ cup / 190 ml fresh cream
- 3 cups / 300 g standard flour
- ¼ cup / 55 g castor sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 150 g butter
- ¾ cup / 100 g fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons castor sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Place a sheet of baking paper on an oven tray, grease it with the ½ teaspoon of butter and then sprinkle the ½ teaspoon of flour lightly over the butter.
- Add the eggs and the cream to a medium-sized bowl and whisk them together until they're well blended. Set aside.
- Place an oven rack just above the centre of the oven and turn it to 170°C fan-bake oven or 190°C conventional oven, on bake.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, castor sugar, baking powder and salt and stir it all together.
- Retrieve the butter from the fridge and using a cheese grater, grate it into the bowl, on top of the dry ingredients.
- Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips to rub the butter into the drys, until it resembles little bread crumbs.
- Make a ‘well’ in the centre of the ‘crumbs’ and add to it, the blueberries, along with the eggs and cream mixture.
- Fold it all together with a very large spoon.
- Tip out the scone dough (including any crumbs or excess flouonto a clean, dry bench.
- Using clean, dry hands, form the dough into a rough ball.
- Place the ball onto the prepared oven tray and gently flatten it out (without pressing down too harinto a 20 cm circle.
- Cut the circle into 6 or 8 wedges and then pull each one out a little, leaving a 2 –3 cm gap between them.
- Use a pastry brush to brush the tops all over with the tablespoon of milk.
- Bake for 30 minutes (6 larger) or 25 minutes (8 medium-size), or until a sharp knife pierced into the centre, comes out clean.
- Slide the scones (still on the paper) onto an oven rack to cool.
- Stir together the castor sugar and the cinnamon. Before moving them from the tray, sprinkle it over the tops of the scones.
- Best served warm or at room temperature, spread with butter and served with whipped cream, blueberry jam, or marmalade. Lemon, lime or orange curd makes a delicious addition (especially if you've added citrus zest).
- Best eaten on the day.