I love eating scones – but the supply of them has become difficult for me.
There is nothing like a fresh, homemade scone. And most scones sold in coffee shops seem to me to taste nothing like homemade. Yes, some are made fresh on the premises, but they have an aftertaste perilously like powdery readymade mixes. In many cases, when you hold the scone, it literally crumbles apart in your hands into a powdery mess. In my experiments of eating them, I’ve sadly discovered that the more exotic the flavouring described on the blackboard, the more disappointing the flavour. I don’t know if I have ever eaten a white chocolate and raspberry scone which did not disappoint.
At this point, every coffee shop owner will rightfully draw themselves up to their full height, raise a floured eyebrow and say “So – let’s see you make your own and see how you get on.”
And until now, that was my weak point: I loathe making them. This is because almost every recipe – ever – insists that you have to “rub the butter” into the flour – which is a) tedious and b) results in fingers which look like they’ve been stirring concrete. Fingers are covered in a gunky mix of dough and you seem to end up washing at least a scone in volume off your fingers. But the clammy sticky feel of it – the horror!
Then there is the finicketyness of most recipes. You have to roll out the mix, then cut it out with round cutters, then roll it out again, then cut it again. “Proper” scones are designed to be tiny little apologies, whereas I want big doughy ones.
At this point, Annabel White, Australian food editor has come to my rescue. She makes no nonsense, simple, big scones and takes all the tedious work out of them. Even the measuring of ingredients is not quivering anxiously over each gram on a set of scales, but honest mugfuls of raw materials heaved into a capacious mixing bowl. Everything is hearty.
Almost holding my breath in case this fiction was too good to be true – I tried out her recipe this week – it worked!