Scones are the staple of the tea table. Whether served with clotted cream and fresh strawberries or butter and jam, they are an integral part of a very British institution. There are many different varieties of the plain and not-so-plain scone. The recipe for scones is thought to have originated in Scotland and would have been baked on a stone or griddle in a round, before being cut into wedges.
Nowadays we are more used to seeing the round scone that has been baked in the oven. The most common variations are cheese, treacle and fruit. They are also made as a topping for casseroles or stews where the scones are placed on top of the meat for the last half hour or so of cooking. They are called cobblers because of the top’s resemblance to stone cobbles. You can use different liquids to make them for example milk, soured milk, buttermilk and yoghurt.
Dried fruits such as apricots, mango, apple, blueberries and sour cherries can all be added as a variation, as well as stem ginger and chopped nuts. This recipe has dried cranberries, dried apple and cinnamon added to it. Ground almonds and yoghurt also give a moist texture, which help with the keeping quality.
Cranberry and Apple Scones
1. Preheat the oven to 210C/fan 190C. Line baking sheets with baking parchment.
2. Sift the flour and salt into a container. Mix in the butter and add the almonds, cranberries, apple and cinnamon. Mix well.
3. Mix the milk and yoghurt together and add to the scone mix. It should form a soft, but not sticky dough. Add more flour if necessary.
4. Turn on to a work surface and roll out to 2.5cm thickness. Stamp out into rounds and bake for 15 minutes.
5. Put on to wire rack to cool down and cover with a tea towel if you want soft tops.
l Fiona is co-author of Leith’s Baking Bible and runs a training school in Edinburgh www.entcs.co.uk