Saturday, November 07, 2015

 Do you love a good food fight?  I love how something so small and insignificant can rouse the fiercest of debates and the scone certainly can make the temperature of the conversation rise!

This little blog post may confuse you.  If you do not originate from the UK, like me, this little innocent looking baked item may be confused with a "biscuit" often drowned in a sausage gravy- well you would be wrong, it's a scone!  The big debate comes from how you pronounce the name;

There are two possible pronunciations of the word scone: the first rhymes with gone and the second rhymes with tone. In US English, the pronunciation rhyming with tone is more common. In British English, the two pronunciations traditionally have different regional and class associations, with the first pronunciation associated with the north of England and the northern working class, while the second is associated with the south and the middle class.

I come from the North of England so I pronounce it correctly as "scone" that rhymes with "gone".
Anyway, regardless of how you say it there is little debate about how you should eat it.  Split down the middle it needs a good spread of butter and a generous dollop of jam and if you are feeling fancy an even more generous helping of thick, pillowy cream (clotted cream ideally!)

This recipe is simple and elegant; the perfect afternoon treat.
Humble beginnings: butter, sugar and eggs- always the start of good things to come. 

  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 40g butter
  • 25g sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • milk (to make up 100 ml in a jug with the egg)

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F

  1. Put the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. 
  2. Stir in the sugar.
  3. Beat the egg in a measuring jug. Make up to 100 ml with the milk, then set aside a tablespoon for glazing the scones later.
  4. Gradually add the egg and milk to the dry ingredients, stirring it until you have a soft slightly sticky dough
  5. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and pat out until it is about 2 cm thick. Use a 4 cm fluted cutter to stamp out the scones. Make sure you don’t twist the cutter or the scones will not rise evenly.
  6. Gently gather the trimmings together and pat out again to cut more scones
  7. Arrange the scones on the greased baking trays and brush the tops with the remaining milk.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until well risen and golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  9. To serve, cut each scone in half and top with butter, strawberry jam and clotted or whipped cream.
The difference in pronunciation is alluded to in the poem which contains the lines;

I asked the maid in dulcet tone
To order me a buttered scone;
The silly girl has been and gone
And ordered me a buttered scone.

And before you ask, yes Alfie is in his PJ's and they are inside out.  It's just how we roll on the weekends! 

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