October saw me rather busy putting the final touches to and releasing my second poetry collection, Beyond the Pale, (find it under my poetic pen name, Jana Synková) and rounding up my illustrator (this can be all the more difficult when one's illustrator is one's daughter!) so I was a bit too tied up to post here. November saw me on catch-up, having lost a lot of time in October to this project. However, to make up for it, here is a 'healthy recipe' for scones to warm you through the colder and darker weeks leading up to Christmas. Do give it a try!
On my stories on Instagram (@blackbirdsandme) I held a poll regarding the age-old 'jam first or cream first' debate. See my stories for the result! Having had lunch at The Bedford Hotel in Tavistock, Devon a few weeks back, not to mention living in Devon for some time now, I had an inkling that cream-first was very much a Devon thing...but that everywhere else disagrees! Whilst I live in Devon, I am not originally from these parts, so have to agree in this matter with the Queen (as revealed by a previous pastry chef ), that the logical way is to put the jam on first so that you can dollop as much cream as you like on top, and so the jam doesn't slide off or sink; however I do concede that the Devon premise (the Bedford Hotel, built on the ruins of a former monastery, claims to be the first recorded location at which a 'cream tea' was ever served...) may be based on the fact that the clotted cream used (at least if it's the proper stuff) was so thick that it was spread as if butter, hence first...
Either way, we have avoided controversy here since these scones were spread, warm from the oven, with butter for me (goat's butter for my cows' dairy intolerant daughter), and jam on top. Enjoy whichever way you like - you can leave the raisins out to be more traditional too, but I like to add them for the added nutritional benefit. This is also why I use spelt flour (an ancient grain and far more digestible than hybridized modern wheat) and sheep or goat's yogurt (also more digestible); vegans can even substitute soya yogurt for sheep or goat's and all is good.
[NOTE: for a smaller, taller scone, roll the mixture out to 2 inches instead of 1.5 inches, and use a smaller cutter. You should get about the same number of scones]
-500g white spelt flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
-100g butter or margarine (we used dairy-free 'Pure' soya spread) [if using margarine ensure it's very cold]
-60g caster sugar
-1 large pot of plain yogurt (sheep or goat's is best) [vegans can use Soya yogurt for a reasonable result]
-1 cup of raisins (optional) [pre-soak in hot water for about half an hour before starting, then drain off]
METHOD [pre-heat oven to 220 C / 200 C Fan oven ]
1. Sift flour & baking powder & bicarbonate together, stir for even distribution
2. Stir in salt
3.Cut butter or margarine into small pieces and then combine with flour mixture using rubbing-in method
4.Stir in sugar
5.If adding raisins, stir in now (pre-soaking them results in deliciously plump raisins and ones which will not burn at the edges)
6. Pour in 275ml of plain yogurt (if you're running low, 50/50 or 75/25 proportions of yogurt/milk of your choice will work)
7. Combine carefully with a spoon or flat knife, and gather together with hands to remove from bowl and place on a worksurface, ideally on greaseproof paper. Do not overhandle the mixture, it needs to be light, not overly compacted.
8.Gently roll or press down to about 1.5 inches thick (or about 3.5cm),
9. use a cup or large round cookie cutter to cut out 12-13 scones ( these quantities usually make a Baker's Dozen!)
10.Place on baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes
11. Scones are cooked when lightly golden and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom,
If in Devon, serve with clotted cream on the bottom and jam on top;
Everywhere else, especially in Cornwall and Scotland, and including Buckingham Palace garden parties, do the reverse;
When at home, do whatever you please!
We had these with butter and wild blueberry jam (St Dalfour, sugar-free!)
Blog : by Blackbirds and Me See also : instagram @blackbirdsandme