Scones originally came from Scotland in the 1500’s according to Webster’s Dictionary. They were originally made of oats and griddle baked. There’s two ways to pronounce it – skon vs skoon and there is debate about whether the name is derived from a Dutch word ‘schoonbrot’ which means beautiful bread or from the Stone of Destiny where the Kings of Scotland were crowned.
Scones became popular thanks to the Duchess of Bedford in the 1700’s who ordered her servants to bring her tea and sweet breads (including scones) late one afternoon. She was so delighted by this that she ordered it every afternoon, and the tradition of afternoon tea was born (source: The Food Reference website)
In our house we love a good scone, and the kids really enjoy getting hands on and helping to make them. Messy but fun work. We haven’t had a good scone since we left New Zealand back in January, so we decided to make some today.
After much trial and error with different recipes, I’ve discovered the secret (in my opinion anyway) to making light, fluffy scones – make them with cream. For some reason it seems to make them less stodgy than the traditional flour, butter, milk recipe. Maybe not quite so low in fat, but as long as you aren’t eating them every day like the Duchess of Bedford I reckon it’s ok!
Today we tried something new – adding a bit of vanilla to the mixture and it came out absolutely delicious.
I also found some divine smelling vanilla sugar here in the supermarket in cute little individual packets, so I added this instead of plain caster sugar to make them even more vanilla flavoured!
Strawberries are well in season here in France at the moment, and they are absolutely delicious, but sold at the peak of their ripeness so they really only last a day. We had some from yesterday that needed using up, so topped our yummy scones with them along with some yummy strawberry jam and cream.
Strawberry Vanilla Scones
Makes 12 big or 20 small scones
2 cups self-raising flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of cream
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
Strawberries sliced into small pieces
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray with paper. Mix flour, caster sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
2. Combine cream, milk and vanilla together into a jug. Pour into the dry ingredients and combine with a knife until the mixture comes together into a dough.
3. Roll the dough out onto a floured board into a long sausage shape around 5cm thick. Slice into 12 pieces. Alternatively you can shape the dough into a round and cut out with round cutters depending on what shape you want your scones.
4. Place the scones onto the baking tray and bake for around 12-15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
5. To serve, top with jam, sliced strawberries and whipped cream. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Taste Magazine