A scone recipe that’s perfection every time? We considered that a culinary myth until we heard from Eagle Centre House B&B. The innkeepers there swear this recipe for basic scones is foolproof. Don’t be fearful of making scones, this recipe will get you hooked. As for what to spread on top of a scone, we like lemon curd, clotted cream, honey butter or homemade jam. We’re traditionalists that way.
Basic Scone Recipe
The following recipe makes approximately 12 scones
|2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
|5 tbsp. (1/3 cup) sweet butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup milk
Place the baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Sift the measured flour twice with the baking powder and salt. When I was a young girl learning to cook my mother had a flour sifter for this task, it was a contraption that reminded me of a coffee can, had a mesh bottom, and a handle that was squeezed to turn a blade near the bottom to move the flour around and push it through the sieve. I don’t happen to have a handy tool like that, so I just used a fine mesh metal strainer I use for washing and draining fruits and vegetables, and held that over a bowl and shook the strainer to get the flour to go through. If you would like to add some variety to this basic scone recipe this is the point where you could add some orange zest and dried cranberries, or lemon zest with dried blueberries. Chopped nuts also add another layer of texture and flavor. Dice the fats into the dry ingredients, then lightly rub in with cool fingertips or a pastry blender until completely blended. The butter and shortening will look like small peas or oatmeal when it is fully incorporated with the flour. Make a well in the center and stir in the milk. Lightly mix with a fork until the ingredients form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead very lightly for about 1/2 minute to a loose, smooth dough. The trick to making a nice light scone is to handle the dough as little as possible, yet it is important to get all of the flour incorporated with the butter and shortening. Roll out with a rolling pin or pat with the hand to approximately 3/4 inch thick. Stamp out with a 2 inch cutter or cut into triangles with a sharp knife, I also like to use a pizza cutter. Lightly knead together any trimmings and roll and stamp out again. Lift with a spatula onto the hot baking sheet, placing 1 inch apart. Brush only the tops with lightly beaten egg or milk. Bake toward the top of the oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown. Lift onto a wire rack with the spatula to cool. If this is your first attempt at baking scones you may feel frustrated with the dough making process, but trust me, persevere and you will be thrilled at the results. Even if your scones don’t look like they are ready for a photo shoot in the culinary magazine, they will taste light, and buttery and, quite frankly, fantastic!