Today, being a Sunday and the parents spending it in the garden, I was somewhat ordered to make some scones. Since I can't have cheese, I make some sweet scones. In the USA scones are called biscuits.
I like using dates, they are just soooo tasty. But you can use raisins, sultanas, dried apricots, any dried fruit really. The orange just adds extra flavour, so you can omit it if you want.
3 c flour (don't be afraid to make these large!)
5 tsp baking powder
about 1/4 c sugar
pinch of salt
50 -100 g butter (or your preferred substitute)
a handful or two of chopped dates
zest and juice of an orange
milk - I used Liddels Lactose Free cows milk
Preheat your oven to 180°C, and boil your kettle for the hot water.
Chop your dates, chunky is fine, but whole is just a bit too big, and mix in a bowl with your zest and orange juice. Add some hot water, maybe about half a cup, depe
nding on how many dates you put in.
Sieve your flour, baking powder, sugar and pinch of salt together in a large bowl.
Grate in butter. I find tossing the block of butter in the flour before grating making it a lot easier to handle and grip, and helps somewhat with the melting.
Toss your grated butter through the flour so it is evenly distributed.
Add you date mix and mix through a bit with a butter knife.
Add milk and mix through with butter knife. You want to end up with a firmish but very sticky dough. I haven't given a measurement for the milk because I just do it by touch and look. If there's still flour in the bottom of your bowl, add a little more milk.
Turn dough out onto bench or large board sprinkled with flour. Pat out into a large block, about an inch thick. Using a ring cutter, cut out rounds and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Have them spaced about at least 3/4 inch apart.
Beat a small egg in a small bowl or cup, then brush the top of your scones with the egg, using a pastry brush.
Bake in the oven, depending on how big you made your scones and how hot or cool your oven runs, maybe about 25 minutes. But I just really judge their done-ness by look, smell and touch. When they are golden, smell tasty, and are crunchy and crusty on the outside but still soft but cooked on the inside they are done.
Serve warm with butter (or variation), jam, lemon curd, honey, whipped cream, anything else you like on your scones, with a cup of tea.
Top o' the mornin' guvnor!