Tuesday 10 January 2012

Raisin Scones

I do enjoy a good scone, served warm for breakfast or with afternoon tea.  Scones are not so sweet as many muffins and pastries, and they’re both simple and inexpensive to make.  They smell heavenly while they’re baking and taste delightful when they’re served.

Scones add variety to the breakfast menu at our house.  I like to eat them warm, with just a bit of butter, but we also serve them with eggs, or cheese, or with warm fruit toppings, or applesauce and yogurt.

This recipe makes only six scones but can easily be doubled if we need more.  It’s made with ingredients I always have on hand, making it a good fallback when we have unexpected guests.  It’s quick to prepare so we can have a hot breakfast on even the busiest of mornings, or a warm afternoon snack when the mood strikes us.

To make raisin scones, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour  (You can substitute up to 1 cup of whole wheat flour.)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 3/4 cup raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup low fat evaporated milk (you can substitute regular evaporated milk or heavy cream)
  • Sugar for sprinkling

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Add the butter and work it into the dry mixture until it breaks down into cornflake-sized pieces.  (You can find a picture of how to do this on my wheat and white biscuits post.)

Add the raisins to the dry mixture and toss to coat them with flour.

Separate one of the eggs and set aside about a tablespoon of egg white.  Put the rest of the separated egg together with the second egg in a small bowl and beat them until they're well combined.

Add the milk to the beaten eggs and mix well.

Add the egg and milk mixture to the dry mixture and stir it until the dough starts to come together.  Knead the dough in the bowl until it holds together.

Pat the dough out into a rough rectangle about an inch thick.  Cut the rectangle into six portions.  Put the cut scones on either a buttered baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Add about a half teaspoon of cold water to the reserved egg white and beat them until the water is incorporated.  Brush the egg white mixture onto the tops of the scones and then sprinkle sugar liberally over the egg white.  Don’t be shy:  The sugar will form a nice crisp crust on the baked scones. 

Bake the scones at 400˚F for about 15 minutes, until they're golden brown.  Serve immediately.

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