Hmmm. They’ve put the Christmas lights up on Oxford Street. I know it’s because retailers want to get cracking with their festive trade and good luck to them, but the arrival of these lights heralds the willing away of such a great season, and the start of the ‘Christmas Rush’. Do we have to rush it? It seems that as soon as summer is behind us, it must be time to count down to Christmas, which is faintly ridiculous as surely the autumn gives us more satisfactorily seasonal weather than both.
So, in retort, here is a metaphorical kick in the baubles (not in a Scrooge-like manner, you understand - I love Christmas): a recipe for the scones the BSG and I made on a whim last Sunday. I in no way associate them with December, but rather the summer and the autumn, when jams really come into their own, and a time of day that we are often too busy rushing around to consider.
Makes 6 scones
225g self raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ pint milk
1 beaten egg or some milk (to brush on as a glaze)
Preheat the oven to 220°C and flour a baking sheet.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, and then using the tips of your fingers, very lightly but swiftly rub in the butter until the mixture is like breadcrumbs. Make a crater in this, and pour in the milk, mixing to soft dough, this time with a knife.
Shape the dough out onto the baking sheet, so that it is smooth, then either roll or press to about an inch thick and cut into round using a cutter or, even easier to hand, an upturned glass from the cupboard, and lay them our on the baking sheet.
Glaze depending on how you like your scone – egg for golden glossy crust, or milk for a lighter, softer one.
Bake in the top of the oven for about 7 minutes, until they have gone golden and risen.
You can leave them to cool but good luck with the wait: they are irresistible warm.
Ps: According to the BSG, the most important part is the lightness in the fingertips, you then get a satisfactory golden cloud of crumbly scone on which you can slather your favourite jam (and perhaps some cream…)