Updated: Mar 31, 2020
I have always loved scones and of course the English tradition of a cream tea.
Actually, going back to cravings….. I visited every tea room in Westerham, Kent and there were quite a few when I was expecting Mollie.
Unfortunately scones do not keep well and unless you freeze on the day of baking (but still eat them within a month) I would always make fresh. Anyway, to cut a long story short we were there for a few hours and ended up having beautiful freshly baked scones and the experience was good, or how it should have been!
I have always used Delia Smith’s recipe for scones, fail safe in my mind. Then today I have experimented with a new recipe from Will Torrent. Will is famous for his delicious pastries and chocolate recipes and his scone recipe is from his new recipe book ‘Afternoon Tea at home’. It also featured in this months’ Waitrose magazine. The big difference with this recipe is it uses plain flour and lemon juice instead of self raising flour.
Adding a squeeze of lemon juice to the milk sours it slightly, mimicking sharp-tasting buttermilk, often used in scones but sometimes tricky to find. The slightly acidic mix gives a boost to the raising agents in the flour and baking powder.
There was quite a difference in the end result of the two recipes!
The scone on the right is Will Torrent’s recipe with lemon juice, has risen much more and the one on the left is Delia’s traditional plain scone recipe. Taste wise we also preferred Will’s recipe and the colour and overall look of his scone was better! I was surprised, and will use this in future.
For more recipes from Delia check out: Delia Online
Scones by Delia
Recipe for Plain Scones (Makes about 12)
225g self-raising flour
1.5 tablespoons of caster sugar
a pinch of salt
a little extra flour
Preheat the oven to gas mark 7, 425F or 220C.
Sift the flour into a bowl and rub the butter into it rapidly, using your fingertips.
Next stir in the sugar and salt, then take a knife and use it to mix in the milk little by little.
Now flour your hands and little and knead the mixture to a soft dough – adding a drop more milk if it feels at all dry.
Then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out to a thickness of not less than 2cm.
Using a pastry cutter cut your scones out and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, dusting each one with a little extra flour.
Bake near the top of the oven for 12-15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and eat them slightly warm.
Scones by Will Torrent
(Makes about 16) Takes 40 minutes plus cooling.
1 tsp lemon juice
250ml whole milk
1 egg yolk (1 for brushing over the scones before baking)
75g caster sugar
100g chilled butter
pinch of salt
1 tbsp baking powder
450g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7.
Sift flour into a large bowl.
Add baking powder
Add Pinch of salt.
Use a knife to cut butter into small pieces and add to the flour, rub in with your fingertips.
Mix in 75g caster sugar.
Make a well in the centre and add 1 egg yolk, 250 ml whole milk and 1 tsp lemon juice.
Cut the wet ingredients into the dry with a knife, then bring together with your hands. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead very gently until almost smooth. Roll or pat to 2cm thick.
Dip a 6cm round cookie cutter in flour and stamp out discs from the dough, re-rolling offcuts to use up.
Put on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
Beat an egg yolk with 1 tbsp milk and brush the tops.
Bake on the middle shelf for 10-12 minutes, until risen, then leave to cool on wire racks.