a (yummy) taste of England

Over the past week or so, I've had a craving for some clotted cream.  I had it in Wales on a scone, and it was so wonderfully scrumptious, I was determined to make it here - scones and all!  Well, turns out clotted cream has to sit in the oven for at least 8 hours!  Sorry, no can do.  But I was able to find some at Whole Foods, so off I went to purchase some clotted cream and ingredients to make scones.

I'm warning you, these scones are so easy and so delicious, there is a large possibility of wanting to make them every few days so you never run out of a breakfast (or dessert ;) ) option.

First things first, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

It looked like scones are supposed to be made using self-rising flour, but as I'm a poor college student, I made my own version out of all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.  Start out by mixing together the flour, sugar, baking soda (yes, more baking soda), and salt with a whisk.  The trick with scones is you don't want to over-handle them, because we want them to stay light and fluffy, so a lot of the steps require a gentle caressing touch.  :)

Cut up your butter into cubes, and drop them into your dry mixture...

... then use your hands to scrunch it all together until you end up with a mixture that looks like a bunch of small crumbs.  See below the comparison between our mixture (right) and regular flour (left).

Next, pour your milk and stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so - just so it's warm, not hot - then add your vanilla and lemon.  Let it sit for a moment while you stick a cookie sheet in the oven to get nice and hot for when you're ready to bake the scones.  Turn back to your dry mix and make a little well in the middle, then pour your milk mixture into the middle.

Quickly take a dinner knife and cut and stir through it to get a wet dough.  It's going to seem really wet and gooey, but you don't want it very dry, so don't worry about it.  :)

Sprinkle your prep surface with some flour and use the knife to tip the dough onto the floured surface.  Flour up your hands, pat a little on top of the lump of dough and gently flip it over a couple times - don't knead it, we don't want to manhandle it - and pat it into a lump about and inch and a half high.

Coat your dinner knife in flour and cut through the dough to make four individual scones, flouring the knife between each cut (the dough gets sticky!).  Brush some egg beater on the tops of the scones and sprinkle a little cane sugar on top.  Take your cookie sheet out of the oven, put your scones on it, and pop it back in.

Leave them in until they're lightly golden on top.  Mine took about 20 minutes, but I think it just depends on the oven.  When in doubt, go for the old toothpick test, and if the toothpick comes out dry, without any dough sticking to it, they're done!

Pretty, huh?  :)

Pretty delicious!

Enjoy with some clotted cream and a jam of your choice for a yummy dessert or a naughty breakfast.  ;)

1.5 cups self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
5.75 (just under 6 is fine) tbsp of butter
3 tbsp caster sugar (very fine sugar)
6 oz. milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
squeeze of lemon juice
egg beater (to glaze)

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