Alex Rushmer tells us how to make the simple, highly-adaptable scone
Arguably the most quintessentially British of bakes, there’s no ultimate definition of what a scone should be. Sweet or savoury, dotted with dried fruits, studded with jewel-like glacé cherries or topped with crumbly Cheddar – whichever way your taste buds take you, this recipe should work as a base for you to adjust accordingly.
It’s actually already a version of my mum’s recipe – her scones are particularly spectacular, as I’m sure most of us would say of our parents’ bakes. Whatever direction you take this recipe in, these scones are best served with a pot of tea, straight from the oven.
Follow the recipe to the letter or regard it as a guide, and tinker with the ratio of flours, switch a little milk for buttermilk… whatever takes your fancy. Enjoy!
225g plain flour (or 100g wholemeal + 125g plain – adjust
15ml baking powder
150ml milk (or buttermilk + milk mix)
75g mixed fruit – dates, apricots, cherries or the classic, sultanas (optional)
beaten egg for brushing
Pop the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Rub the butter into the flour, working quickly so as not to overwork the dough. If you’re adding fruit, add it at this point.
Once combined, slowly add the milk, and mix gently until the dough comes together – it should feel bread-like. You may not need all the milk.
Flour a clean surface and gently roll out your dough to around 2cm thick – thicker if you like your scones craggy.
Using a circular cutter, gently press out circles of dough, and arrange on a lined or buttered baking sheet.
Brush each scone with the beaten egg, then bake at around 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for around 15 mins.
Keep an eye on them – they’re ready when risen and golden brown on top.
Serve as soon as possible, ideally with butter, jam and clotted cream.