Scottish scones are essentially minimalist, barely sweet and without the gaiety of currants, raisins, dates or dried berries. From the Scottish highlands, scones migrated during industrial revolution time to Britain where it caught the fancies of Duchess of Bedford who initiated the fashionable ritual of “Afternoon tea time” with scones or Scottish quick breads which were usually served with jams and clotted creams.
The Victorian etiquettes highlighted the scones so much that it becomes almost synonymous with afternoon tea rituals – “Tea with scones” , complementing each other so perfectly that a new food ritual has evolved – “Devonshire Tea”. In pre-baking powder days, scones in Scotland were usually made with oatmeal and baked on griddle, cut into triangle like quadrants. They can be savouries too, flavoured with herbs, bacon, hams and cheese. With baking powder scones becomes well-leavened, flours substituted the oatmeal and modern scones arrived as we know it today and are widely available in British and Irish bakeries.
When scones crossed the Atlantic in early 18th century, brought to this new world by early British and Scottish immigrants, it absorbs lots of sugar, and dressed up with loads of raisins, dried berries, dates, fruits and other ingredients. New world follows new rules, and scones found their new soul mate in coffee.
From afternoon tea scones graduated itself to morning breakfast, with fresh cream or jam in between, it happily pleased the” grab-a-sandwich” tribe. And why not, it is lighter, flaky and tastier with 15 minute flat baking time, with a good recipe in your hand, you can not go hungry !
Scones rely largely on ambient temperature of the ingredients, key is to keep everything cold and working quickly on dough, sugar can be adjusted according to one’s taste, and if you are in mood for something savoury, then throw lots of fresh herbs and some cheese. Else you can enjoy them with your favourite jam or crème fraîche or clotted cream if you are that lucky.
Recipe: Creamy scones with specks of currants
Summary: scones or Scottish quick breads are lighter, flaky and simple round cakes, and goes well with afternoon tea or can be served in breakfast table.
- All purpose flour : 2 cups
- Baking powder : 1 tsp
- Unsalted butter (chilled and cubed) : 30g
- Currants / raisins : 1/2 cup
- Cream (pouring / half n half) : 3/4 cup + extra to glaze
- Preheat the oven to 425 F / 220 C.
- Lightly grease a baking tray or line it with baking paper.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt in a bowl.
- Using your fingertips, rub the cold butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the currants or raisins.
- Make a well in the center and add almost all the cream and mix with a flat bladed knife using a cutting action until the dough comes together in clumps.
- Use the remaining cream if necessary.
- With floured hands gently gather the dough together, lift out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a smooth ball.
- Do not knead or the scones will become tough.
- Pat the dough out to 2cm thick. Using a floured 5cm biscuit or cookie cutter, cut into shapes.
- Gather the trimmings and without over-handling, press out as many shapes as possible.
- Place close together on the tray and brush with the extra cream.
- Bake for 12 -15 minutes or until risen and golden brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with jams or cream.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: English
This is very basic scone recipe, go easy with cream and if you want to substitute it with milk, be my guest ! Dates, dried berries, fruits anything that excites you to flavour the scones, enjoy it in your own way !
Hope you will love it
Good Day !