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Mar 1, 2008 07:19 PM

SCONE RECIPE WANTED: must be good [Moved from U.K./Ireland board]

I'm a pastry chef from Toronto, Canada, and I just found out that I need to make a whole lot of scones for an event soon. I have a few recipes for scones, but I think the best I've had were either at Fortnum&Mason, or my great-grandmothers in Northern Ireland. I'm looking for the best recipes possible, I know they are going to be served with some organic preserves, so preferably a scone that goes well with preserves.


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  1. Scones are quite regional with different parts of the UK having different preferences and recipes. I would guess that your great grandmother Irish ones are quite different from Fortnum's. I checked my battered copy of the classic English cook book "Mrs Beeton's - Cookery and Household Management" first published in 1861 has 19 recipes for scones...!

    My current recipe which is probably Fortnum's like is to rub 40g of butter into 225g of self raising flour, add 1.5 tablespoons of caster sugar, and a pinch of salt, then use knife to mix in up to 150 ml of milk, and bring together for a light dough. . Roll into a 2 cm deep sheet, and cut into 5 cm rounds (don't twist the cutter as it causes them to rise off centre). Bake in the oven at 220C for 12 mins or until well risen and brown.

    4 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      The problem with British recipes is that they don't always translate well into American versions - and vice versa. Flour is not the same (there is no 'self-raising' in the States that I know of and the measurements vary. There is also no 'caster' sugar in America. That said, a smart pastry chef should be able to figure something out with your version, although I still struggle and my American things never come out well over here, so I blame it on my fan oven.

      1. re: zuriga1

        My experience is different, I never have problems with American recipes, but I've been doing it for quite awhile now and my oven is new. I have become used to lowering oven temp and cooking for times shorted than required.

        Caster sugar is only a slightly finer grain of sugar than ordinary granulated sugar in the US. Super fine sugar might be closer to caster sugar, but usually isn't required.

        Self rising flour is easy. To make your own self rising flour in the US, take 1 cup all purpose flour and add 1 1/4 t baking powder and a pinch of salt.

        1. re: nanette

          I know it's been a very long time since the original post, but I must tell you that I tried Gordon Ramsay's scones at The London in New York, and they are so tender and flaky. His "Perfect Scone" recipe exists online but also calls for "self-raising" flour in grams. While I know that self-rising flour exists in the U.S., I suspect that the English self-raising flour and the American self-rising flour has different components. Therefore, I'm afraid to substitute it blindly. Also, there are many volume measurements to convert flour to self-rising flour. Does anyone have one for metric conversions? I also have to mention that castor sugar DOES exist in the U.S., but it's cheaper and more practical to just blitz granulated sugar in the food processor quickly. Thanks!

        2. re: zuriga1

          King Arthur packages "self rising" flour, as does Heckers... it's standard for biscuts, etc. I've never been in an american supermarket that didn't have it.

        1. re: nanette

          It's rare that we make scones but it's Delia's recipe we use. Quite rightly there are no bits of fruit in it (or anything else)

          1. re: Harters

            They were my favourite, until yesterday. I baked the ones from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking from My Home to Yours". Blew Delia out of the water!

          2. re: nanette

            This is the best recipe I've found! Addicting! The room temperature butter is the key IMO.

          3. I haven't tried these, but Claire Clark (pastry chef at the French Laundry and who also worked at the Ritz and The Wolseley in London) has a great looking recipe for British scones (as opposed to the Americanized version) in her pastry book "Indulge".

            Recipe can also be found here:

            4 Replies
            1. re: emily

              Brilliant, I actually have that book, I never though to look there. I'm making them right now (the dough is just chilling). They look like what I want, I wanted that sort of egg/yolk wash instead of the more american butter or milk brush on the tops I'm hoping they turn out, I also found one which uses yeast, which I'd like to check out sometime too.

              1. re: emily

                Okay, I just finished baking them off and they are incredible, I had some time to kill while the dough was chilling and made some butter, it totally brings me back to Fortnum & Mason Afternoon tea, and the most expensive cup of tea and scone of my life. It cost around $48CAD for 2 pots of tea and scones for 2, still an awesome afternoon.

                1. re: City_West

                  Glad to hear they turned out well. One of these days I'll get around to them (and perhaps try making some real clotted cream, too).

                  1. re: emily

                    I made some this evening and they are seriously good. I have been using Cook's Illustrated cream scone recipe but I think this is my new go to scone recipe.

              2. These are from Gourmet Magazine and were on Sara Moulton's show on Food TV. These are very tender, but hold up very well with Devonshire Cream and preserves. That is how I serve them. I've made these with currants and dried cherries too. The dried cherries are my favorite and I serve them with cherry preserves. I love cherry anything.


                1. I've always enjoyed Grandma Johnson's Scones recipe from .

                  I've messed with it to make many tasty flavors. Apricot ginger is probably my favorite variation, but they've all been delicious.