Best comfort food ever? It's got to be a cup of tea and a scone. Not very rock n'roll I'll admit, but I long ago became that person who doesn't care if I'm "with it" or even know any more what constitutes being "with it".
There's just something so homely about sitting down to a scone with real butter. It's familiar, it's easy, it's tasty and you don't feel the same guilt about eating a scone as you would a piece of chocolate cake. Maybe it's just me and my crazy calorie guilt!
Scones are such a basic treat to make. If you were to take a week long baking course, scone baking would probably be covered in the first 10 minutes. They're so easy to make, you can have warm scones on the table within 25 minutes. Having said that, it's really difficult to get the perfect scone recipe. If you add an egg and you get a cake-like scone - not good. If you leave out the egg, you need to be careful that you don't overmix, otherwise you'll end up with a scone that's as hard as a football - not a particularly good outcome either.
This recipe is perfect, the scones are crumbly and soft and oh so tasty. I'm not a fan of Jamie Oliver. It's not that I don't like him, it's just that the word "over-exposed" comes to mind whenever I see him on the TV. Having said that, this recipe is without doubt the best scone recipe I've ever tried and I've made scones with this recipe hundreds of times without fail.
I mess around with the flavours all the time but since the ginger and lemon works so well in these scones, I decided to post this recipe.
Ginger and Lemon Scones, adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe.
Makes 8 medium scones or 6 large scones.
225g (8oz) plain (AP) flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
50g (2oz) butter, very cold
25g (1oz) granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp crystallised ginger
200ml milk with a little extra to brush over the scones
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Line a baking tray with parchment paper (or you can just sprinkle it with a little flour).
Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger. Using your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour. Add the sugar, zest and crystallised ginger, mix them in quickly with your fingertips. Add enough milk to mix into a soft dough. Once the dough has started to come together, stop mixing.
Flour a surface and then gently roll scone dough out until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Don't knead the dough, the less handling it gets the better.
Cut into rounds and place these rounds on the baking sheet.
Brush over with a little milk. Bake for about 15 / 20 minutes until golden.
Allow to cool slightly on the baking tray before letting them cool completely on a wire rack.