Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
This recipe makes about 16 scones.
- 150g unsalted butter, hard
- 600g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp of cream of tartar
- 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp of salt
- 80g caster sugar
- 150g sultanas
- 2 eggs (large)
- 1 carton of buttermilk or 285ml of milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- To serve: Plenty of jam and fresh clotted cream
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7) and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
- Cut the butter into small cubes and put on a plate in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
- Sift the flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the diced butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, whizz in the food processor. Use a metal knife to stir in the sugar and sultanas.
- Break the eggs into a measuring jug and add the buttermilk. Beat gently with a fork to combine.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Using a knife, gradually add the egg and milk mixture to the bowl (reserving a little to brush on top of the scones before baking) and mix to stir. Keep adding until you have a sticky mixture, you may not need it all. Bring the mixture together with your hands to make a soft dough.
- Gently tip the dough onto a lightly-floured surface and carefully flatten with your hands to make a round of dough about 4cm thick. Try not to squash too much or use a rolling pin as this will knock out all the air.
- Use a round metal cutter, about 5cm in diameter, dipped in flour to stop it sticking. Push straight down and do not twist or the scones will not rise properly.
- Carefully lift the scones onto the lined baking sheets, spacing then well apart.
- Brush the scones generously with the remaining egg mixture and place in the preheated oven. After 5 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) for a further 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool on their trays for about 5 minutes then use a palette knife to carefully lift onto a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving warm with jam and clotted cream. Scones freeze brilliantly so make plenty and have some ready to warm through when you need a speedy treat.