One of the first recipes that we made in Home Economics in high school was scones. I didn’t see the allure of them back then in my younger years – I enjoyed the heavier, sweeter flavours of chocolate and the like; I had not yet experienced my first high tea, the joy in the ritual of well-made conserve and the perfectly whipped fresh cream. What’s more, to make the class stretch out for the full scheduled hour, we were taught to make scones the mundane old-fashioned way: by kneading the butter into the flour with our fingertips until it resembled breadcrumbs. It’s an incredibly boring and long process, and terrible on a hot day where the butter slips around under your fingernails.
I haven’t made scones in quite a little while, but my Sister went through a phase two or so years ago and she made copious amounts of lemonade scones and deposited some over to me. They freeze very well, and all they require is a quick blast in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel to reheat. I remember listening to the mums at one of my first office jobs discussing making lemonade scones for school and/or church benefits – it adds not only sugar, but also a very useful amount of aeration – creating a beautifully fluffy scone.
It was last week after a grocery shopping trip that I suddenly had a craving for some afternoon Devonshire tea. I looked up a lemonade scone recipe, to find one from the Taste website. While I was originally hesitant about the idea of putting in a whole cup of thickened cream, I realised that it would in fact replace the milk and the butter that would ordinarily go into a scone recipe. Win-win?
I made these at the same time that I was making a chicken broth for dinner, and they were not only ridiculously easy to make – they were some of the best scones I’ve tasted in my life. If you want to reduce the amount of sugar in them, you can use soda water instead of lemonade, or simply don’t add icing sugar when you whip your cream. A batch makes a very generous amount of big, fluffy scones, so once they are cool, put them into zip-lock bags before freezing.
You will need:
- 3 cups self-raising flour;
- Pinch of salt;
- 1 cup thickened cream;
- 1 cup lemonade.;
- One egg;
- Two tablespoons milk;
- Whipped cream and conserve, to serve.
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celcius.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the cream and lemonade.
Mix with a flat-bladed butter knife until the mixture comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently until smooth and pliable. Roll out to a 2-3cm thickness.
Cut the scones into rounds using a scone cutter or any round cutter you can find. I have a 5cm circle cutter, or I also know some people that use a small drinking glass. Arrange these close together on a tray lined with baking paper. Knead together any remaining dough and re-cut more shapes until you have used up most – if not all – of the dough. I like to make a small scone with the remaining dough.
Whisk together the egg and milk until combined, and using a pastry brush, brush this over the tops of the scones.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm, split, with the jam and cream. I like to add some vanilla bean paste to the cream when I’m whipping it up.