Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Gardening and Scones - Sweet and Savoury

For me scones and gardening are inextricably inked. Whenever Mum did a days gardening it meant we were having scones for tea. Scones for me are all about standing in the kitchen on a gloriously sunny day watching Mum garden and knowing what was coming later.

On Monday I finally gave in to the fact that the honeysuckle in the garden was dead as a doornail and no amount of careful tending would bring it back. An hour of determined chopping and tugging and it was out. I say all this breezily but I'm actually quite annoyed as it really was the one the plant that has ever grown in the garden. A trip to Morrisons (not much of a choice but ultra cheap plants) and a £5 replacement has been planted.

Gardening done it's time to make some scones. If you are raising your eyebrows at the concept of anybody just whipping up some scones honestly they are absurdly fast and easy to make. Why else would Mum have done them post a full day of gardening?

Fruity scones were the order of the day when I was a child but I thought I would make both sweet and savoury as the extra effort is minimal. I did a half and half mix, divided in in half before adding the sugar and fruit to the sweet side and the cheese to the savoury and shoved them all in the oven together.

Ingredients - 5 large scones or 8-10 small ones
225g Self raising flour
55g Butter
25g Sugar
150ml Milk
Pinch salt

25g Cheese
25g Dried Fruit

1. Heat the oven to 220C and grease a baking tray. Lightly dust the baking tray with flour.
2. Sift the flour into a bowl with salt and add the butter. (include the sugar if making sweet scones) Rub it all together till it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. Add your flavourings. I say 25g but in truth I always end up adding as much fruit or cheese as I think I can get away with. For the cheese scones add a grind of pepper.
4. Add some of the milk and mix in with your hands, keep adding the milk until it forms a dough.
5. On a floured surface knead the dough a little and squish it out flat, around 2cm thick. Using a round cutter cut out the scones. If you don't have a cutter just divide into equal sized balls of dough and flatten.

6. Put into the oven for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. (Cooking time depends on the size of the scones.)

To get a gloriously golden brown coverage a beaten egg brushed over the scones will work wonders. I rarely do this though as I think it's a bit expensive to do for something purely aesthetic that is going to be scoffed in seconds.

While they are cooking lay the table so you can take them out of the oven and straight onto your plate. Add butter and eat while warm. Of course if this is not impromptu then clotted cream and jam is pretty darn good as well.

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