We have been away for a few days and it is wonderful to be back home with my feet up enjoying hot buttered scones and a good cup of tea! These scones are a staple of my tea time and they are really pretty easy to fix once you have the proper ingredients. You will note that I suggest pre-soaking the raisins in brandy. In my opinion, most desserts are improved by adding a little liquor!
(Adapted from a Saveur recipe March 2003 issue)
3 C. All Purpose Flour (King Arthur Flour is the best)
¼ C. superfine baking sugar (you can increase to 1/2 C. if you prefer)
1 tsp. baking powder
8 tbsp. unsalted butter (I like to use Kerry Gold Irish Butter – but any European butter is good)
6 tbsp. sultanas (golden raisins)
½ C. + 6 tbsp. whole milk (just under 1 C.)
1 egg + 1 tsp. water (egg wash)
Demerara sugar for garnish (optional)
1. Soak raisins in brandy, if you plan ahead. Otherwise just use fresh plump raisins.
2. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.
3. Whisk flour, sugar, and baking powder together in a large bowl.
4. Using pasty cutter, cut butter into flour mixture.
5. Stir in Sultanas (golden raisins).
6. Add milk and stir until dough just comes together. I then quickly kneed the dough right there in the same bowl. Tear off chunks about the size of a dinner roll. Don’t worry about creating fancy looking scones – these are supposed to be “rustic” in appearance and are much better for not having too much handling. One batch makes approximately 8-9 nice sized scones.
7. Plop scones on baking sheet and coat with egg wash (I simply use a paper towel dipped in the egg mixture). Sprinkle liberally with Demerara Sugar
8. Bake for approximate 25-30 minutes – they should be nice and golden brown. Scones should be baked until the sugar is almost carmalized as this creates a wonderful crunchy crust.
9. Serve warm with lots of butter and a good marmalade. If you add the additional sugar to the dough these are sweet enough to eat plain.
10. Enjoy regularly!