Ahead of the very first National Cream Tea Day (whatever next?) on Friday, we wanted to share our favourite scone recipe with you.
Louisa first discovered the lesser-known date scone on her travels in New Zealand and thinks that Brits could learn a lot from their Kiwi cousins when it comes to this variation. The sweetness of dates mean that the simple addition of butter is quite adequate for a luxurious afternoon treat
Below is our favourite scone recipe - Nigella Lawson's Lily's Scones from How to be a Domestic Goddess - with the addition of chopped dates. We've seen some commotion online about these not turning out right but the secret to light, fluffy scones is mixing and kneading your dough as little as possible.
These scones are dreamy straight out of the oven but warming them up for serving - in the oven for a couple of minutes or for just 10 seconds in a microwave - also produces melt in the mouth results...
Ingredients (Makes at least 10 scones)
500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4.5 tsp cream of tartar
50g cold unsalted butter, diced
25g Trex, in teaspooned lumps (or use another 25g of butter)
100g pitted dates, roughly chopped into halves
6.5 cm round cutter
1 baking tray lined with a sheet of greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 220C / gas mark 7.
Sift all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Rub in the fats till it goes like damp sand.
Add the milk at once, mix briefly – briefly being the operative word – and then turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly, adding in the dates, to form a dough.
Roll dough out to about 3 cm thickness. Dip the cutter into some flour, then stamp out at least 10 scones. You get 12 in all from this but may need to re-roll for the last 2.
Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until risen and golden.