When there’s nothing in the fridge…

No freezer and just me means I have to think carefully about what I buy. I can’t store things for very long. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Also, I very rarely buy any eggs. I am not a vegan but I normally stop by the supermarket en route to somewhere else. While I can drag along milk cartons and other dry goods, taking a dozen or so of eggs sightseeing all over London somehow doesn’t appeal to me that much. I may be adventurous but I’m not stupid.

The fantastic thing about these scones is that they appear almost by magic, you can conjure them up in less than 10 minutes with almost nothing. So these are truly perfect when you have guests at short notice and can’t be bothered to go to the shop round the corner in the pouring rain.

These scones are not very sweet which makes them perfect with either sweet or savoury fillings. And they are at their absolute best straight out of the oven. To top things up, they are light and slightly crumbly. I took a photo so that I could show you just how light and crumbly they turned out to be.

Perfect Scones – adapted from Jane Asher’s Beautiful Baking

Makes 10-12

225g self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

50g cool butter, cut into small pieces

25g caster sugar

50g of one of the following: currants, raisins, sultanas or mixed fruit (optional) (I don’t care much for them so off they went!)

150ml milk (you might need less)

1. Preheat the oven to 220 C (205 C for fan assisted), 425 F, gas mark 7, and put in a large baking tray to get hot (no need to grease or line).

2. Mix together the flour, salt and bicarbonate in a bowl (sifting if there are any lumps) and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Stir in the sugar and the fruit, if using. Make a well in the centre and stir in enough of the milk to give a fairly soft dough. Turn out on to a floured work surface or silicon sheet and, if necessary, knead very lightly, just to remove any cracks.

4. Roll out very gently (or pat out with your hand) to a thickness of about 2cm, then cut out rounds with a 6cm cutter. Sprinkle the tops with a little extra flour (I brushed mine with some milk) and place on the hot baking sheet.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until well risen and the tops are golden brown. Cool on a rack (or better yet, eat them warm!) and serve split and buttered, or with whipped cream and strawberry jam.

This post is for my friend, Mary, I hope you have fun making the scones!


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