My earliest memories of eating scones were at my Grandmother’s house. Granny’s house was my favourite place on Earth, not least because we always had afternoon tea and afternoon tea was a meal of cakes.
Whether it was a hang over from the days of taking tea between surgeries when my Grandfather was practicing medicine or from an earlier era I don’t know. All I do know is that there is something rather special about having four meals in a day.
It wasn’t until pregnancy that I began to appreciate jam and cream (I know); the rich and sweet combination is a real treat for the senses. Clotted cream always has to be Roddas – packaging and contents a true classic delight.
We make these at children’s birthday parties to hand out to the parents. Often I’m rubbing in an hour before we are due to start making them warm and moist when we slice into them.
Despite what you may think, scones are incredibly simple to make and a fast bake so perfect for unexpected guests or emergency pick-me-ups.
I prefer sultanas for their plumpness but you could happily use raisins if you don’t have sultanas in. I tend to use buttermilk if I have it or a mixture of milk and yoghurt but you could easily use milk when making these. I love the hiss they give off as you press the cutter into the dough.
I took these pictures on my April trip to Walnuts farm and the gorgeous cake stands and Italian jam are from The Hambledon who hooked me up with props for the day (love them to bits for this).
Simple Scone Recipe
450g self-raising flour (plus some in a dredger to dust)
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100g butter, cubed
100g caster sugar
250 – 275ml buttermilk (yoghurt/milk mixture or milk are fine to substitute)
Preheat your oven to 225°C
Makes 12 – 20 depending on the size of your cutter!
- Sift your flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the cubed butter and rub it in lightly with your fingertips until you have a mixture like sand. I like to hold my hands high above the bowl as I do this to add air into the mixture.
- Add the sugar and fruit and stir through to combine.
- Stir in the buttermilk, a little at a time, using a palette knife. You are aiming for a sticky dough and depending on the weather you might need more or less of the liquid.
- Flour your surface and turn out your dough. Roll it gently until it is about 2.5cm/1 inch thick.
- Cut your scones from the dough with a floured pastry cutter, re-rolling the dough to get as many as you can.
- Flour a baking tray and transfer your scones to the oven.
- Bake for 8 – 12 minutes, keeping an eye and a nose on them, until they are golden brown. There is a tipping point between golden brown and bitter burnt tinge with sultanas so please stay close to the oven when baking these.
- Cool on a rack and eat warm with lashings of butter or jam & clotted cream.
31/05/2011 Hello to everyone visiting this post via Northern Mum’s carnival. These photos are not the best (or even my best) by a long shot, they were taken on a dingy January weekend when I was so pregnant I could barely walk. This post does sum up my love of photography however.
My camera is the medium with which I am recording our family history. The everyday, humdrum of our lives is filled with so many moments worthy of being held up to the light.
I love that I am able to look back at pictures of my grandfather as a baby or a boy running through the garden in Fiji. I love seeing my grandmother holding my father as an infant who is a spitting image for Milla 56 years later. I hope one day my photos will provide an insight to those who come after me.
When I was growing up there was nothing more thrilling than learning we were going to pay a visit to Granny and Grandpa’s house. Back then they lived on the North Devon/Cornwall border and had a fantastically spooky old house. As I grew up I realised it was not the house which ignited my excitement but the sense of coming home, of being within my family. Whether the house was filled with Uncles, Aunts and Cousins or just my grandparents, I felt the pull in my heart when it was time to leave. My Grandpa has since died and my Granny moved back to be near her childhood home all the way up on the Yorkshire coast. Yet my feeling of returning to the heart of my family still remains strong. If anything, it has deepened since I became a Mama.
I think Milla gets more excited by a visit to Granny’s than I do. She sings songs about seeing Granny, is exasperated by the length of the journey and wants to spend every moment as close to Granny as she can. I only wish that the South coast were a little closer to the Yorkshire coast so that our visits could be more frequent.
Despite pretty dismal (yes, Bank Holiday) weather we made it out onto the cliffs with my Uncle to take a look at the nesting colonies. This bleak outpost is teeming with Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Gannets and Puffins. We never seem to visit when the Puffins are nesting and so were really looking forward to seeing our first. We saw a couple through the scopes of volunteers who brave the elements to enhance the experience of us inexperienced birders. There had been a report of an Albatross a few days earlier but this is apparently very unusual. I wish I had taken my small camera as the zoom would have done a better job of catching the puffins then the kit lens on my DSLR. I did see a fantastic shot of a Puffin on top of the cliff that a young boy had captured but Milla and Monty (not to mention my California-based Uncle) were not keen on the extreme wind conditions so staking out the cliff tops was not an option.
As you can see, Monty decided the best way to deal with the wind was to fall asleep. Either that or he was lulled by the beautiful bird song from the ground nesters and land-dwelling birds. If you ever visit Bempton Cliffs you must stop at the catering van which sells the most delicious vegetarian, organic, local, ethical food I have had the pleasure of eating. Simply superb homemade food.
As always, our visit was all too short and served only to show us how much we miss Granny every other day of the year. I am already trying to figure out when we can head up again as despite the arduous journey it is very much worth it.
The journey now takes a day each way. In times passed we could have done it in four to five hours but something shifts when you have children and not only is it impossible to leave early you’re required to stop frequently. One of the nice things about stopping is that we have the opportunity to have some fun en route. Ordinarily we stop at Twycross Zoo as our local zoo membership allows us free entry. This time we made our big stop much earlier in the journey and met up with some friends at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
It is the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs after being cooped up in a car. The current exhibition by David Nash has some truly phenomenal pieces of trees as well as abstract sculpture. There is so much to see and as you would expect from a flying visit barely scratched the surface. One piece which was particularly special was the Deer Shelter Skyspace by James Turrell. A seemingly seamless piece of peaceful sky hidden behind the old deer shelter arches. Wonderful place to visit and the cakes are to die for which is the measure of any attraction.