Whether you pronounce them ‘sc-oh-nes’ or ‘scons’, they are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, and an essential fixture of afternoon tea. We love these little beauties warm, fresh from the oven, with raspberry jam and a big dollop of clotted cream. Scones are easy to make but work best when the milk is soured, either with a bit of lemon juice or using buttermilk, and with as little handling of the mixture as possible, so work fast with light movements as you bring the dough together.
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375F/Gas mark 5. Grease a baking sheet.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
3. Cut the butter into small pieces and ‘rub’ into the flour. This is a quick light action, where you lift the butter and flour together and rub with the tips of your fingers.
4. Stir in the sugar.
5. Measure out the milk into a glass jug and add two teaspoons of lemon juice, and stir. Pour this into the flour mixture.
6. Bring the dough together with your hands lightly and quickly. It should be a soft dough. You can either roll this out and cut out with a cutter, or bring it into one large round.
7. Place either individual scones or one large one onto the baking sheet.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown on top. If you’ve made smaller individual scones, check them after 15 minutes.
9. After a few minutes cooling on the baking sheet, transfer to a cooling tray or wire rack. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.