Scone-sider yourself something cheesy or fruity for tea!
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Scone-sider the scon-troversial scone… does it rhyme with “done” or “bone” and does the cream go on top of or underneath the jam?* Wars have been fought over less. Once you have won the argument and scone-firmed your supremacy as a true connoisseur scone-noisseur… (I could go on if anyone wants more…?)
*The correct answer is that scone rhymes with done (and this pun won’t work otherwise) and how can anyone not enjoy a creamy bottom?
…speaking of asking for more, Consider Yourself is one of the many beloved numbers from Oliver!, in which the Artful Dodger introduces Oliver Twist to the many joys of life on the street, (or, as we would call it nowadays, grooming) and, in due course, picking a posset (sorry, pocket!) or two.
Nobody tries to be lah-di-dah or uppity,
There’s a cup o’ tea – and a scone – for all…
This recipe is adapted from one by Rachel Allen from her book, Bake. Both the cheese and the fruit versions are shown in the picture. I use a mix of butter (unsalted – adjust salt amounts if you use salted) and lard. You could just use butter if you’re having an…
empty lard-er day… why grouse?!
I’m not sure if grouse lard exists, so use whatever you can find! For cheese scones, use whatever cheese you prefer (I used cheddar). You could, of course, omit the cheese and the fruit and keep things plain. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use normal milk with a squirt of lemon juice.
Part of the trick is to keep everything cold – not only the fat, but the dry ingredients (which you could chill after sieving) and also your hands (a rinse in cold water helps). Do not overwork the dough!
Sieve the plain flour (all-purpose), bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), cream of tartar and salt together, then rub in the cubed fats until you have a breadcrumby consistency. Mix in the fruit (or cheese) if using, then the buttermilk mixed with two thirds of the beaten egg. Gently bring together into a ball of dough and roll to a thickness of about 2 cm.
Use a suitable cutter (4 cm with a fluted edge is perfect) to cut out your scones. Bring the remaining dough back together and repeat the process until you’ve run out. Mix a couple of teaspoons of buttermilk with the remaining egg and use this as a glaze for the scones. For the cheese scones, sprinkle a little extra cheese on top.
Bake at 200C (400F) for 10-12 minutes and allow to cool a little. Scones are best served warm with butter (for cheese scones) and jam and cream (preferably clotted) for fruit.