Friday, September 23rd: A family recipe (if grandma allows, of course!).
Chances are, if you know me in person, you’ve either been force-fed some of my homemade baked goods or received a gifted container stuffed with cookies and/ or pastries. I love to bake. And I don’t mean to toot my own horn (or… set off my own egg timer) but I am really good.
Back in the day I was a very proud owner of an Easy Bake Oven. However, after I used up all the little packages and the set of refills, my parents realized it was probably cheaper to just let me bake in the normal oven with normal, preservative free ingredients.
Ever since, I’ve been addicted to baking. It’s actually probably a character flaw. Last night I made banana bread with frozen bananas so they weren’t very photogenic. Naturally, I had to bake again today for this blog post. Such a huge sacrifice, I know.
The first thing I learned to make from scratch are scones. My mom is from Ireland and my dad’s family is English and Scottish, so there was always a lot of tea and scones in our household. I made them for my second grade class when we had to do a presentation on our heritages. And bribery is best served in the form of baked goods, of course.
This is the one and only recipe I have completely memorized, although I was taught how to do it without the actual recipe so the way I make them actually deviates quite a bit from what’s in the book… but “eyeballing” isn’t a very satisfactory unit of measurement so I got out the cookbook to be a little more official.
The university student in me feels gross about not citing this recipe, even though the publishing minor in me also knows that technically recipes themselves are not copyrighted and can be reproduced because they are simply a list of ingredients. In any case, the recipe this comes from can be found in the 1987 edition of Company’s Coming (Holiday Entertainment) which is a Canadian (Edmonton, Alberta specifically) cookbook by Jean Paré. I resisted putting that in MLA citation format for you.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold butter/ margarine
1/2 cup currants
milk for brushing tops
granulated sugar for sprinkling
Generally I double this recipe but for the purpose of this post I stuck to the measurements in the book. Also, I don’t use the egg and I prefer scones without anything in them so I don’t use currants either. However, most of my family loves the scones with raisins and I’ve made them with blueberries a few times. Sometimes my mom mixes in lemon juice. It’s a very easy and forgiving recipe. This is also the only thing I bake where I don’t use the KitchenAid mixer (AKA my one true love). It’s just easier by hand.
The first step is to mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
After the dry ingredients are combined, add the margarine and cut it with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. This is when you’d add the currants (or whatever additives you prefer) if you want. At this point, make a well in the middle by moving the dough (pre-dough?) to the sides of the bowl. This was always my favourite part as a kid! The well is magic. Pour milk (mixed with a frothy, beaten egg if you wish to use it) into your newly dug well and stir until a slightly tacky dough is formed.
Scoop the dough out and place it on a lightly floured surface. As kids when my mom made these, we got to each make our own “scone” like a little Play-Doh creature.
Kneed the dough and shape it into a circle. Divide the circle in half and cut each into thirds.
Place pieces on a greased cookie sheet, spacing them apart as much as the space will allow.
Brush the top of the scones with milk and sprinkle sugar on top.
Lastly, poke a fork (or other such utensil) into the top of each scone.
Bake at 425°F (220°C). The recipe says for 15 minutes but I do 12. It depends how you like them, for a golden brown and more flakey texture I would go for 15-18 minutes depending on the oven.
When they have risen and obtained your desired level of golden brown-ness, take them off the cookie sheet and try one fresh out of the oven!
Scones can be enjoyed plain, but are also good with butter and jam as well! Pour yourself a cup of tea, serve, and enjoy!
(Yields 12 scones)
Thank you so much for reading this post… Bon appétit!