If you haven’t noticed, I was quite taken with British food fare as seen in my latest British Invasion series. This time, instead of taking the traditional afternoon tea scone and developing a cupcake recipe based on it, I decided to find a recipe for a straight-up scone. It’s super-easy and the only addition I made was that I added a tsp. of lemon zest into the dough. Added bonus: done without the use of my standing mixer. Sometimes a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon is all you need.
Afternoon Tea Scones (Makes 1 dozen)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
a pinch of salt
⅓ cup salted butter; cold
1 egg, room temperature
½ cup + 1 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp. lemon zest
¼ cup or 2 oz raisins or currants (optional)
Cream and jam to serve
Heat oven to 400°F.
In a bowl, place the dry ingredients. Mix lightly to combine.
In a measuring cup, put the buttermilk (including the 1 tbsp). Beat the egg in a small bowl, then pour into the buttermilk. Stir to combine.
Place the butter in the center of the dry ingredients and cut with a knife into about 16 pieces. Next, take another knife, or pastry blender and cut/mix the butter into the flour until resembles coarse crumbs, finishing off the pastry using your hands once the pieces have become quite small.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg and buttermilk, (reserving one tablespoon of liquid in the measuring cup). Add lemon zest.
Mix gently with a wooden spoon until a dough forms, just about 10 seconds, then place dough onto a clean, well-floured surface. Form into a ball, then pat out, or roll to approximately ¾” in thickness. Do not knead the dough or it will make the scones tough. With sharp cutters, cut out scones and place on silicone baking mat or parchment lined baking tray. Gently knead scraps together and repeat until dough is finished. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the scones with the remaining egg/buttermilk mixture.
Place in middle of preheated oven for about 9 minutes, then turn tray 180º and continue to bake for another 9 minutes or until scones look golden brown on top.
Remove from oven, and place in a towel lined basket, or on a cooling rack if you wish to serve them on a plate. Serve with butter, or real cream and jam.