British Scones – Recipe

Isn’t it amazing that I can be in New York last week and in London this week, just by creating the experience in my own kitchen? I just made scones and lemon curd this afternoon in a span of 2 hours. This is faster than getting on a now defunct Concorde from New York to London. Making my own food sure does feed my desire to travel, bringing back a taste of everywhere I love!

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I love cream tea. Good scones and tea. It’s not easy to find British standard of good scones in Singapore unfortunately, and London is a 13 hour flight away.

I have no idea why I had this perception that it’s difficult to create at home so the for all my life I’ve been buying below average scones from Four Leaves bakery should I want to have scones and tea at home. I’m a homebody like that, I love being home on weekends.

Digressing, I know this blog is soon becoming a cooking blog but who needs to go out when you can make *ahem* good food at home? (Disclaimer: I’d like to be humble, but it’s not my fault that food sold outside isn’t always great and my own creations are better hahaha).

I woke up today thinking I want to make some lemon curd, and lemon curd goes well with scones. No way I will go out and buy some scones, so I’ll make my own scones!

I like my scones to be crumbly, butter and somewhat crispy on the outside. I am not a fan of bread-y scones like the ones from Four Leaves. The best thing about making them yourself is you can make it exactly the way you like it to be. The not so good thing is that you won’t know which recipe to use, unless you’ve some kitchen experience and can tell from a glance at the ingredient list. I’d say after a dozen of years experimenting in the kitchen, I have failed often enough to realise what to look out for in baking recipes.

  1. More butter is essential for that crumbly texture, and it has to be using the rubbed in method. Of course, always use good quality butter.
  2. Bread flour will yield bread like texture, so definitely no. Top flour will yield crispier, lighter texture in pastries since it has lower gluten.
  3. Egg yolk will make it richer, like how it is so in pineapple tarts, as opposed to whole egg or no eggs.
  4. Baking powder makes it rise, and scones needs to rise to be scones.

I decided on a recipe found in a recipe book I own, but adapted a method I found online. And I’m glad to say it worked pretty well! I got the kind of texture AND flavour I wanted in a scone. I can’t be more satisfied.

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So good with a pot of my favourite Earl Grey tea blend.


Hungry Bird’s Crumbly Buttery Scones

Makes 9

Ingredients:

  • 220g top flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk + enough milk to make a total of 110g

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220 deg C.
  2. Cut butter into small cubes and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
  3. Sieve in flour, baking powder and salt to a bowl with the cubed butter and rub it in with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles bread crumbs.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolk with milk and add sugar. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour and butter and combine to form a soft sticky dough. The dough would be soft but should come together.
  5. Place dough ball on a floured surface (or non stick baking paper) and flatten to a 2cm thickness. Using a round cutter of 5cm diameter, cut out rounds and transfer each scone to a lined baking tray.
  6. Bake scones for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Serve warm with clotted cream, butter, jam or lemon curd.

Notes:

  • Do not over flour the surface, just enough so that it doesn’t stick.
  • Make sure you cut it with edges looking raw, like a short cylinder. It should not look like a blob or else it will not rise up nicely.
  • Do add in raisins, cranberries or chocolate chips if you wish.
  • I used President French butter for this recipe.

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Do check out my lemon curd recipe too. I usually only love clotted creams to go with my scones, but the method of making clotted cream is long and tedious so it wasn’t worth my effort. Never did I expect that I would enjoy my scones this much, with just butter and lemon curd.  I used Danish Lurpak unsalted butter for the spread and it is one of the best you can get. It softens to a very nice and creamy texture. And the lemon curd, it is just so good, I don’t think any store bought jars can compare.

P.S. I got these really cute jam and butter wooden cutlery pair from Daiso a few years ago! Perfect for the occasion don’t you think?

In fact, this is one of my best scone experiences ever! It could be the condiments, it could be the warm temperature, it could be the freshness of having it right out of the oven, or a combination of everything.

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Just lovely!

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