A few months ago, after yet another session of making jam (with cherries from the Brogdale National Fruit Collection) that added fifteen more jars to the already-full-to-groaning jam cupboard, Pete decided some simple and tasty scones were just the ticket to make an inroad into the jam lake I cooked into existence.
This recipe is by Isabella Beeton, a popular 19th century author of articles and books on cooking and household management. Mrs Beeton was one of the first cookery book writers in the UK, but died just short of her 29th birthday, just a few years after her collection of articles written for her publisher husband’s magazines were collated into a book called “Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. The book was a complete guide to running a Victorian household, and included chapters on clothing, child care, managing servants, animal husbandry and much more. But the core subject of the book was about cooking, and hence it was often also referred to as Mrs Beeton’s Cookbook.
We have a modern edition focusing on Mrs Beeton’s baking recipes, from which Pete chose this simple scone recipe.
Mrs Beeton’s Plain Scones
Fat for greasing
225 grams / 8 oz self-raising flour
2.5 ml / 0.5 teaspoon salt
25-50 grams / 1-2 oz butter
125-150 ml / 4-5 fluid oz milk
Flour for kneading
Milk or beaten egg for glazing (optional)
Grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 200 C (fan).
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter, then mix to a soft dough with the milk. Knead very lightly on a floured surface until smooth.
Roll or pat the dough out to about 1 cm thick and cut into rounds using a 6 cm cutter. Re-roll trimmings and cut, until all dough is used.
Place the scones onto the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with milk or beaten egg, if using.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm or cold.
We love ours with clotted cream and jam, though whipped double cream will do when clotted cream is unavailable. Or butter, in a pinch!
What recipe(s) do you use and how do you eat yours? And what’s your stance on the jam or cream first debate?