It has been a week now since the Sharrow Vale Market, and it has bought back memories of the cakes I used to bake and sell at the Markets before Covid came along,
Along with my range of Brownies and Blondies, I would also bake Scones, along with many other cakes such as rocky road, but with the weather last week of 30c I was pleased I didn’t take the rocky road as it would have melted, but scones, now they are an all-rounder, good for hot days as well as the depths of winter, but this cake is one of the most controversial especially in the west country,
Why can’t everything be as simple and as gorgeous as a chocolate brownie, or a summer blondie, simple to say, simple to bake, and serve.
The first dilemma
And this is all to do with how you pronounce the word scone.
Do you say Skon (to rhyme with gone) or Scone (to rhyme with bone)?
The difference in pronunciation is alluded to in a poem:
I asked the maid in dulcet tone
To order me a buttered scone;
The silly girl has been and gone
And ordered me a buttered scone
(The Oxford English dictionary first mentions the word Scone is 1513)
For me, it’s definitely scone!!! I live and breath scones, my favourite being the classic fruit scone. I have baked them weekly since being young. Scones are my all-time favourite bake, they are so simple and versatile and so quick to whip up a batch when you crave something sweet. You can enjoy them for breakfast, brunch, lunch or afternoon tea and let’s not forget supper!
There is just something so comforting curling up on the sofa with my cup of tea with a warm scone or two because sometimes one just isn’t enough! Alongside the classic fruit, I often bake blueberry, date and walnut and raspberry scones. As the scones bake, the aroma brings back so many memories baking with both my Mum and Nan Freda.
My Great Nan Esther was famous amongst her friends for her scones. She baked them for everyone to enjoy. My Nan Freda followed in her footsteps and shared her secrets with my Mum and then me. Her recipe is very special to me, yes it’s simple but it isn’t just the recipe, it is the method she taught me, the bakers instinct that you pick up along the way, when you know whether you should add a little more milk or flour.
When baking scones you must caress the dough, you do not want to end up with rock cakes! Once baked the scones are crisp and golden yet so fluffy and light. They are heavenly and a favourite amongst my friends and family.
I love nothing more than whipping up an afternoon tea for the girls. Scones are a must, served with strawberry conserve and clotted cream and of course my brownies and blondies, alongside freshly baked sausage rolls and sandwiches.
Scones are a great bake with the kids! The boys love making scones with me, George prefers a plain scone, Harry loves a fruit one so we often bake half plain and half fruit! They are a staple in the boy’s lunch bags.
Scones became a popular addition to the ritual of taking tea in the 1700’s. The Duchess of Bedford once received a selection of sweet breads one afternoon. Within the selection were scones, she was delighted and requested these to be baked every afternoon from then on, it is from here the term afternoon tea originated.
In my opinion you can’t have an afternoon tea without a scone and the cream must be clotted, do you agree?
The Second Dilemma
Of course the next great scone debate has been an ongoing point of friction between Devon and Cornwall for years, and this is -
Do you put the jam on first?
Do you put the cream on first?
Whipped cream is an absolute No-No in both counties, it must be clotted cream, which are served in both Devon and Cornwall, but there the agreement ends.
In Devon the clotted cream is placed first, through which jam, however runny cannot penetrate.
In Cornwall, the runny jam sinks into the warm crumb which allows the cool clotted cream to stay on top.
If you wanted wanted this argument to be settled at the top ? then you have your wish. The Queen instructs that all scones prepared for garden parties must have the cream on first, followed her Balmoral jam. But it appears not all the Queens loyal subject agree, and the argument rages on in such high places as the Great British Bake Off, even the National Trust had to issue an apology after publishing photographs of a scone with cream first and then jam.
I have written out the simple and almost fool proof recipe I use to make scones, simply and quickly.
250g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
175 ml milk
1 free range egg
Heat the oven to 220/200 fan and line a grease a baking tray
Rub the butter into the flour. Add the sugar and sultanas and combine.
Mix the egg and milk together, add three quarters of the liquid and gently fold into the flour mix, keep adding a little more of the liquid until you have a soft dough – you may not need all the milk mix.
Roll the dough onto a floured surface and gently press the dough until it is an inch deep.
Use a 5cm round cutter to cut out the scones. You can rework the scones to use up all of the dough, these scones are never as light, so try and get as many scones out of your original dough as possible .
Glaze the scones with some of the egg and mil mixture and then a sprinkle of sugar.
Bake for 10 -12 minutes or until golden brown. Use a toothpick or skewer to check if the scones are cooked, a few moist crumbs should be stuck to the skewer. Remove from the oven and cool.
And now you have baked your gorgeous scones, we come to the hard part, what are you going to do, are you going to upset the Cornish or the Devonian's, Will you end up in the Tower going against the Queen's instructions............SO........is it cream first, or jam first, whichever way, serve with your favourite jam, butter and clotted cream.
Lucy's Top Tips
Before cutting each scone, dip the cutter into the flour to ensure you get a uniform shape
Do not twist the cutter when you cut each scone from the dough as this can affect the rise when baking.
Always dust your surface with a little flour so the dough does not stick.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, and don’t forget to share your bakes. Have a lovely time baking
Enjoy your scones and remember if it is all too much and you have settled for a chocolate brownie, then check out all my flavours and order your brownies online from Sheffield online brownie shop and I will bake them for you and deliver them in a beautiful letterbox brownies gift box anywhere in the UK. Also remember to add your handwritten personalised message which I will add to your brownies gift box
Love Lucy x