Mere words cannot describe how much I adore the Great British Bake Off. It’s a little sleepy, but in the sweetest possible way. They bake in a dreamy white tent surrounded by green pastures, which in turn are dotted with little white lambs. It’s the perfect thing to watch before bed!
Thanks to Bake Off, I discovered HUGE British celebrity and sexxy septuagenarian Mary Berry, and her yummy fruity scones. (She is not literally huge. Quite petite, actually, considering how much pastry she eats.) Every time I bake these, I write the American measurements on a scrap of paper and then promptly lose the paper. So I’m recording them here, now, to avoid future sconus interruptus issues.
Mary Berry’s Fruity Scones
6T butter, cubed (1/3 cup)
2 and 2/3 cups self-raising flour (plus more for dusting)
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
2T (or more to taste) sugar
1/3 cup raisins (or more), soaked for a few hours (or even overnight) in enough apple or orange juice to cover them completely
2/3 cup milk minus 2T (or 10T total)
2 large eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 425•F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make a light crumbly dough: Put the flour and baking powder into a large chilled mixing bowl. Add the cubes of butter, keeping all the ingredients as cold as possible. Rub the butter in lightly and quickly with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and sultanas.
Pour 7 tablespoons (3 and 1⁄ 2fl oz) of the milk and all but 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg into the flour mixture. Mix together with a round-bladed knife to a soft, but not too sticky dough, adding a bit more milk if needed to mop up any dry bits of mixture in the bottom of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, lightly knead just a few times only until gathered together, then gently roll and pat out to form a rectangle about 2cm (3⁄4in) deep.
Cut out as many rounds as possible from the first rolling with a 6cm (21⁄2in) cutter (a plain cutter is easier to use than a fluted one) and lay them on the baking sheet, spaced slightly apart. Gather the trimmings, then roll and cut out again. Repeat until you have 10 scones.
Brush the tops of the scones with the reserved egg. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until risen and golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Serve sliced with lightly sweetened whipped cream and good jam!
TIPS FOR GREAT SCONES
Scones need a light touch or they can become tough and heavy, so handle them as little as possible. Roll them out quite thickly to start with; they never rise as much as you think they will. As the dough is quite deep, dip the cutter in flour before cutting out each scone to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
Adapted from the Laura Ashley blog.