Many have asked, what’s in a name?! Well, I think the more important question truly is, what’s in a scone?! Just like a person, you can’t judge a scone by its name or appearance…it all depends on what’s on the inside. For some, it’s buttermilk. For some, it’s cream. For others, it’s the latest health food ingredient (applesauce, acai berry, you name it!). But for me, it’s a classic Irish family recipe that starts with my grandmother telling you to “take off all your rings and bracelets because you need your hands!” Buttery and warm, fruity but not too sweet, rustic and homey, this is my family’s recipe for perfect scones. Judge for yourself, I think you’ll find that my family is delicious on the inside!
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter (8 tablespoons)
¾ cup raisins (I like to mix half golden half regular raisins)
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar for dusting
1. “Remove all your rings and bracelets because you need your hands,” – per Alice McArdle’s instructions.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. Cut cold butter into tiny cubes and work into the flour mixture with your hands until your get the consistency of peas. This is a critical step, do not overwork butter. To get a flaky scones, you still need some chunks on butter. Toss in dried fruit and mix lightly.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk sour cream and egg. Add to flour and butter mixture. Lightly mix, just until incorporated (some stray flour is still fine and it should look dry).
5. Dump mixture onto a clean countertop or large cutting board and gently pat into a disc (about 8-inches in diameter). Cut the disc into eighths (just like a pizza pie) to make 8 triangular scones. Place each scone on a cookie sheet and sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of sugar over the tops. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and delicious. Enjoy plain, with jam, or with clotted cream! Mmm…mmm… J
Variation: Cranberry-Orange Scones
One of my favorite alternate variations is to substitute dried cranberries for the raisins and add about 1-½ teaspoons of grated orange zest. Mmm mmm…