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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.

Thanks.

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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:
            http://www.napavalleyregister.com/art...

            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.

                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                1. I've always enjoyed Grandma Johnson's Scones recipe from allrecipes.com . http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grandma-...

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

                  1. Here's a great little video on YOUTUBE entitled
                    HOW TO MAKE TASTY IRISH SCONES IN A FLASH

                    http://youtube.com/watch?v=77gvAn-fBI...

                    I can't bake worth a darn, so I enjoy watching (or preferably eating) other people's efforts. This is a cute, peppy video with a perky tune that makes scone production look super easy. I want one right now.

                    Someone post a notice if they make these. (There are actually quite a few scone videos on YOUTUBE - and other cooking videos as well.)

                    1. I've posted this recipe before, but I think it's what you're looking for. VERY easy, VERY tasty----my British Mother-in-law approves!
                      Cream Scones
                      Makes 8

                      2 cups flour
                      1/4 cup sugar
                      1 TBSP. baking powder
                      1/2 tsp. salt
                      2/3 cup chocolate chips (or chunks) or dried fruit*
                      1-1/4 cups heavy (or "whipping") cream---DO NOT SUBSTITUTE!
                      1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
                      Coarse sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw

                      Preheat oven to 425F. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a fork. Add chocolate chips/chunks or dried fruit. Stir together the cream and vanilla extract; stir in to the dry ingredients, using the fork. Still using the fork, mix to a rough mass, then turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead BRIEFLY (about 1 min.) until it all holds together. Pat into a 7" circle. Brush the top with cream (there's probably enough left in the cup you used earlier---just scoop it out with your finger and run them over the top of the scone circle!), then sprinkle with the coase sugar. Cut into 8 wedges. Separate wedges and place on a parchment-coated baking sheet. Bake approx. 15-20 mins. until golden brown. Best eaten while still warm!

                      *Dried fruit can be currants (for a classic scone), raisins (I like to add about 1 tsp. cinnamon to dry ingredients when I make them with raisins), dried cranberries, dried apricots snipped into 1/4" pieces, etc. Nuts or coconut can also be used.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Anne

                        Anne, I know you've posted this recipe many times before. But, I finally had a chance to try it and I gotta tell you--this is my hands-down go-to winner scone recipe ever. My search is over. It was a BREEZE (no cutting in butter and wondering if your pieces of butter are the sizes of a grain of sand, a pea, a lima bean or a Tb!), easily adaptable, delicious taste and texture. I added 3/4c frozen blueberries and it was great. I'm already thinking about making them again with half WW pastry flour, subbing brown sugar for the white and using pecans for the add-in.

                        God bless you, Anne!

                        1. re: Smokey

                          Thanks, Smokey! When I used to make these for a coffee shop I worked in I would sometimes make "Pecan Praline Scones". While I did not substitute ww pastry flour, I DID substitute brown for the white sugar, and chopped pecans for the dried fruit. These were very popular and one of my personal favorite variations.

                      2. I favor the recipe from my mom's 1935 Fanny Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook.

                        Oven to 450

                        2 c flour
                        4 tsp baking pdr
                        pinch salt
                        2 tsp sugar
                        1/4 c ice cold butter
                        1/4 c top cream
                        2 eggs room temperature--reserve 1 white and whisk with 1 tsp water for wash
                        sanding sugar--optional

                        Beat eggs and cream
                        Sift dry ingredients together, cut in butter till size of peas
                        Make a well in the center, add cream and eggs, stir with a fork till just coming together. turn out onto floured board.

                        Gather all bits and fold to center three to four times only. Pat ball to 1" think disk. With a sharp dfloured knife blade, cut circle into 6ths. Brush tops with wash and sprinkle sparingly with sanding sugar.

                        Place socnes 1" apart on bkaing sheet and bake in middle of oven till tops just barely begin to turn golden. Remoe scones form sheet onto rack lined with tea towels. Cover scones with towels as they cool slightly.

                        This recipe can take add-ins such as nuts and dried fruit very well becasue they are not "cookie-sweet". Best served with butter & jam or Devonshire cream.

                        1. There is a good cream scone recipe in the recipe section of Chowhound. I have made it several times. After the first time I added more sugar - about 1/4 cup.

                          1. We use the one on the package of Bob's Red Mill sorghum flour (which we buy at WFM). We're vegan and I'm gluten-free so this is suitable for both.
                            1 1/4 c sorghum flour
                            1/2 c tapioca flour
                            1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
                            1/4 tsp baking soda
                            1 tsp xanthan gum
                            1/4 tsp salt
                            4 Tbsp sugar (I substitute xylitol)
                            4 Tbsp (non-dairy) margarine
                            1/2 c non-dairy milk (we use Pacific brand lowfat vanilla almond mylk)
                            egg replacer equivalent of 1 egg
                            1/3 c currants
                            2 Tbsp non-dairy mylk for brushing on top
                            cooking spray or oil for baking sheet

                            Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat baking sheet with oil or cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Combine wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients, add currants. On baking sheet, pat dough into an 8 inch circle, 3/4 inch thick. Brush top with mylk. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cut into wedges.

                            The recipe claims it serves 6-8. For my husband and I this entire recipe with a smoothie is a weekend breakfast. Granted, on weekends we sometimes eat only 2 meals per day.

                            P

                            1. The title to this post cracks me up. Needless to say, I'll be keeping my crappy scone recipe to myself.

                              4 Replies
                                1. re: Smokey

                                  Welllll, ok. Take any of the above recipes, substituting baking soda for baking powder (or vice versa). Add some semisweet chocolate, 1/2 cup of kimchee, and 24 styrofoam peanuts, then broil for 35 minutes. Enjoy!

                                  1. re: spopodopolis

                                    can i sub bubble wrap for the peanuts? thank you everyone for your GOOD scone recipes. the best i ever had was at blenheim palace's pleasure gardens cafe. it was so delicate, and very slight hint of sweetness. i think the u.k. flour is different. what can i do to u.s. flour? or what type should i use for that very fine crumb and tenderness? cake flour?

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      Pastry flour or White Lily brand soft wheat flour makes tender scones (and biscuits).