Grandma's Classic English Scones

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee may be over but I can still celebrate by making scones and having afternoon tea in the garden.

Afternoon tea and scones

This is an old recipe from my childhood that my grandma use to make all the time while I was growing up. My grandad sure did love them and so did I, among all the other wonderful things she made for us. She used to cut them as individual round scones, which is what I do now, but would sometimes bake them as a "ring" and then cut them into triangles.

When my grandma passed away, my grandad continued the tradition of making these scones. I think it was something like every weekend that he would make them specially for us. We would just be walking into the house and he'd be leading us to the kitchen saying with a big smile on his face, "come look what I've made you" in that British accent. He would be so happy.

Raisin Scones

This recipe is probably 4 generations old now. It's been passed down from my grandma's mum, to my grandma, to my mum, to me. It's something that will be made over and over again, and it's one of those classic things that just doesn't get old.

Traditional English Scones

Now these are your classic British scones. A little bit sweet, and best cut in half and spread with butter or for an extra special treat maybe some pure strawberry and Devonshire (clotted) cream. They can be eaten warm or cold and are so easy to make you can whip them up in no time to enjoy with your cup of tea.

When making these make sure that your mixing bowls and ingredients are nice and cool so that your scones wont be too heavy or dry. Just like making pastry. You can customize these with any dried fruit or spices you like. If you don't like currants or raisins, try cranberries and orange zest or blueberries? The options are endless really, but I like these just the way I remember them from growing up.

Grandma's Currant Scones (makes 6 scones)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold salted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • about 1/4 cup of 2% milk, more for brushing
  • 1/2 cup of currants or raisins

For Serving:

  • Fresh strawberry jam
  • softened butter
  • Devonshire cream (for that extra special treat with tea)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425* F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
  2. Combine flour and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  3. Next, cut the cold butter into small pieces and add it to the flour and sugar. Mix until it resembles fine crumbs. Then beat in one egg.
  4. Add milk and blend.
  5. Mix in your dried fruits until just incorporated. 
  6. On a clean lightly floured counter top, form the ball of dough into a large circle and cut out six 2" rounds with a cutter or glass, which works just as good. You can also free form your scones into 6 smaller balls of dough using your hands, just give them a little pat down on the tray before baking.
  7. Arrange scones in two rows on the cookie sheet. If you wish you can brush the tops with a little bit of milk to get a glossy finish.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes until lightly golden on top. Cool on a wire rack.

[note: these can also be made by hand. If you add 1 tsp of baking powder to the 2 cups of self raising flour, this will give you an even fluffier scone.]

Fluffy Scones

Variations to Try:

  • Cranberry Orange Scones:
    replace raisins/currants with 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and 2 tsp of grated orange zest.
  • Lavender:
    instead of raisins add 2 tsp of chopped dried lavender and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract.
  • Ginger Scones:
    replace raisins with 1/4 cup roughly chopped crystallized ginger and add 1/4 tsp of ground ginger to the flour mix.
  • Blueberry Scones:
    replace raisins with 1/2 cup dried blueberries and add 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract when you add the egg.

Store in an air tight container to keep fresh.