This year, during the Big Bad Wolf sale, I got Marcus Wareing's cookbook "How to Cook the perfect..". Knowing how much I love afternoon tea, Hubby got the book out and set out to make me the perfect date scones.
The perfect date scones
The recipe in the book is actually for sultana scones, but we had a box of dates sitting in the fridge, hence Hubby decided to substitute with equal amounts of dates. According to Marcus Wareing, scones are very easy to make but they need a light touch (don't overwork the dough) or they'll be chewy and stodgy. It is also important not to roll the dough too thinly or you'll have biscuits rather than scones.
I was taking a siesta when the baking was happening, and Hubby pinged me to say "come get your scones." A cup of English breakfast tea, beautiful well-risen scones, whipped cream and jam greeted me. Nothing beats eating a freshly baked warm scone slathered in whipped cream and jam. Wonderfully moist and crumbly. Perfection.
These were so good that I couldn't stop at eating one... or two.... you can also serve these with clotted cream (see here for recipe for Mock Devonshire cream). Perfect bites for a Christmas or New Year party. Or simply any day... I definitely wouldn't mind having this again for afternoon tea.
The Perfect Date Scones
Recipe adapted from Marcus Wareing "How to make the perfect.."
Preparation time: 20-30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 - 15 minutes
Makes about 12
450g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of fine salt
100g cold unsalted butter, diced
225ml full-fat milk
1 large egg
75g caster sugar
75g dates (or sultanas)
1. Heat the oven to 200°C (fan). Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, loosely gathering the mixture together in your hands without squeezing or pressing. Stir in the sugar and dates (or sultanas).
3. Mix the milk and egg together, then slowly pour two-thirds into the flour, stirring constantly with a table knife until the dough comes together. It should be quite firm, but moist, so add a little more of the milk and egg if it appears too dry.
4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for only a minute or two - just long enough to be able to shape it into a rough, loose ball. Now roll it out until it's about 2cm thick. Cut out about 12 scones using a 6.5cm pastry cutter, dipping it in flour before each cut.
5. Place the scones on the baking tray and brush the tops lightly with the remaining egg and milk mixture (from Step 3). Bake in the middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes, until risen and light golden brown. Serve as soon as possible, preferably while still warm with either whipped cream or clotted cream and jam.
I am submitting this to the "Baby Sumo's Christmas Recipes Collection 2013" event which I am hosting. You can link your recipes here.
I am also submitting this to Cook-Your-Books #7 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours .
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