As I mentioned when I posted the Cornish Splits recipe, Scones are a relatively recent arrival. Nowadays scones are advertised as part of a “Traditional Cornish Cream Tea”, but we know that that is not the truth. Splits were used for that. I will be blunt now, and those of you that know me, know that I rarely mince my words when my dander is up!!! Shop bought scones are “orrible”.!!!! There I have said it! and riled a lot of folk. BUT if you have ever tasted a home made scone, just cooled from the oven, then you will know that I speak the truth. Scones start to harden and deteriorate very quickly and should be eaten within a few short hours, 2 or 3 at the most. I freeze mine immediately they are cold, then microwave for a couple of minutes. They come out just as if they just came out of the oven. Beautiful little clouds of 'eaven, as my dear cousin Judy says!!!
To make about 18 little sweet clouds:
1½ lb Self Raising Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
4 oz butter at room temperature [NOT marg]
4 oz castor sugar
tub Buttermilk [250 ml] about 8 fluid oz
more milk, to make up to 13 - 14 fluid oz.
Sieve the flour into a large bowl, along with the salt and BP. Rub in the butter until resembling very fine breadcrumbs, lifting the flour with each rubbing, putting as much air as possible into the mix. Add the sugar, mix, then make a well in the centre.
Empty the buttermilk into a jug and top it up to about 14 fl oz. with ordinary milk, whole if possible, but semi skimmed is fine. [all buttermilk is good too, but I like half and half]
Bring it all together, using almost all the milk and adding the last oz if you need it. Then tip out onto a floured surface and gently knead until smooth. The less you handle the mixture, the lighter it will be. Roll out evenly to about ¾ of an inch think. I use a 2 ½ inch cutter [makes 18] but smaller or bigger is just fine. Cut out your scones and place on a lightly greased baking tray. After the first cut, gather up the bits carefully and re roll. You can brush the top with milk but I never do. Place in a hot, preheated oven 210 deg C for about 12 - 15 mins according to size.
Cool on a rack. Split open and spread with jam, then clotted cream on top.
These days it is “traditional” to use Strawberry Jam. But in our forebears time jam was made with fruit that was free or in gardens. Mostly Blackberry would have been used. You may add some dried fruit if you wish, but only if you are buttering them, do NOT mix fruit and jam and cream
In a few weeks I will make some savoury scones.