Few foods are as comforting when you come in from the cold and the wet on a dark winter evening than a cup of hot tea and a scone with jam and cream and although many shops sell premade scones, nothing beats the warmth and freshness of homemade scones that have just come out of the oven or the range cooker. Aga and Rayburn cookers are perfect for baking scones as their chambers keep in the moisture, unlike modern ovens, giving the scones a lovely moist crumb. Here’s my favourite recipe for scones.
230g of self-raising flour
1 pinch of salt
60g of butter
30g of caster sugar
150ml of milk
50g of your fruit of choice (sultanas, dates, apricots, blueberries, etc.)
1. Pre-heat your oven to about 220 degrees (lower if fan-assisted) or heat up your range cooker to an equivalent heat.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt before using your hands to rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
3. Add the sugar (and the fruit, if you’re making fruit scones) to the bowl and mix well. (Traditionally, sultanas are used to make fruit scones, but chopped dates and apricots also work well. You should also feel free to experiment with berries.)
4. Pour in the milk and combine the mixture until it forms a soft dough.
5. On a lightly floured countertop or work surface, knead the dough lightly and then pat it down until it’s about 2-3cm tall. Use a circular cutter (or even a floured glass) to cut out your scones and place them on a lined baking tray.
6. Beat the egg in a glass with a fork and use a brush to apply it to the tops of the scones on the baking tray. This will give them a nice, shiny glaze on top when they come out of the oven.
7. Bake the scones in the oven for between 10 to 15 minutes until golden and well-risen.
8. Let the scones cool for a few minutes when you take them out of the oven before serving them with butter, your favourite jam and some clotted cream. (While they’re cooling, you could flick on the kettle and make tea!)
9. Watch as the moreish scones disappear at the hands of your family, friends and anyone else who happens to be drawn into the kitchen by the smell!
This recipe was written by homemaker and culinary writer Joanne Stewart who loves using Rayburn cookers for baking and has one in her home.