My husband is the scone baker in our home. He has a recipe from an old friend that was kind enough to share it with him many years ago. They usually appear once a year on Christmas day, but this year we had much activity in the kitchen as well as a coffeecake to nibble on, so they were served on New Year’s Day instead.
I was told to be very specific about how to make the scones since they can be over mixed or over cooked very easily. He has been doing this a really long time, so I will tell you what he told me about making perfect scones.
Be sure to mix all the dry ingredients together and then sift the dry ingredients before mixing them with the butter and milk/vanilla mixture. Gradually add the softened butter in by little bits by hand. Be careful not to mix too much. You want to have the little chunks of butter throughout the flour mixture.
You then gradually add the liquids to the dry ingredients, still mixing by hand (it is messy and sticky!). Just blend enough to get the dry ingredients wet and don’t be tempted to use a mixer.
My hubby also said to really watch them in the oven and be sure not to overcook the scones. You want to get them out right before they turn golden brown. Depending on the size of the scone and the accuracy of your oven, this takes between 12 and 15 minutes.
He sometimes will add raisins to half of the batch. If you wish to add raisins, do so during the mixing of the liquid ingredients. They are yummy either way.
If you are truly English, or just feeling that way, you might want to serve these with clotted cream and tea. If you are American like us, you may enjoy a nice jam with your scones. We serve ours with raspberry jam.
Here is the top secret recipe:
2 cups flour (we use unbleached all-purpose flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 dessert spoons sugar (the ones you eat with)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 oz. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla (optional)
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
1. Sift dry ingredients together.
2. Gently blend in room temperature butter (in little pieces).
3. Add beaten egg throughout the mixture.
4. Add milk and vanilla and raisins (if using).
5. Spoon onto cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.