Scones. Not terribly prevalent in southwest Pennsylvania where I make my nest, but still available enough to be considered posh at the local Panera Bread. Now, while I have yet to glaze my go-to recipe for scones with yummy confectionaries such as strawberry glaze or orange zest, I have added a few zips to the original recipe.
Now, I have no written version of the orignal recipe, as it was orally gifted to my sister and I while we were on tour in Ireland. We were on a trip and stopped at a pub for a traditional irish Sunday brunch. Towards the ends of a glorious meal, we were gifted with the crowning glory of our feast. Beautiful and humongous raisin scones. Nay, sugar laden hunks of ambrosia!
Each one of them seemingly 6 inches wide & 4 inches tall weighing in at 1/4 pound each (I’m sure my memory has been perfectly clear and not altered in the slightest in my recollection). We went up to the cook and ask her for the recipe. After we received a blank look and the every popular response of “why?”, she then proceeded to recite from memory “one mug of sugar, 4 mugs of flour”, etc ending with “bake until they look good.”
I, having spent a little more time cooking at that point then my sister (she lived abroad & didn’t cook for enjoyment as I did & I had just graduated high school), she put the recipe aside for later perusal while I began to immediately translate into one that I could reasonably create a faximile of the nectar we had tasted that trip. Aside from a wonderful resturant in Iverness, Scotland, it was one of the highlights, culinary-wise.
In any event, I then proceeded to grant myself certain assumptions, mainly that a mug roughly translated into a cup and so on and so forth until I had worked out the “pinchs” and “dashes” of most people who have learned to cook from the book inside their head. I am, unfortunately, not able to do this. And so, I present a rather well traveled recipe for those who have a bit of a sweet tooth.
This recipe is rather simple, and not at all healthy. My father requests these monthly, and has a fit when the recipe is altered, so I have not had much chance to experiment, alas.
Its current reincarnation is as follows:
4 cups of flour, white
1 cup sugar, white
1/2 pound butter (I have substituted margarine for half or all of this before with no noticeable change in taste)
1 cup milk
1 cup raisins (the original recipe called for sultanas, I tend to increase the amount to preference)
Originally, I had prepped this recipe by cutting the flour and margine together with a pastry cutter or my hand. I get great results and texture that way and it is still my preference. However, I have also had wonderful results with my stand mixer. I put in my heavy duty mixer paddle & let it pound the flour, salt, sugar, & butter into oblivion.
So, let the mixer cut the butter into the flour and sugar until it resembles rough sand or grains of rice.
Next, add raisins, then add eggs and milk. Mix this all together for about 20 seconds.
Usually, I have dropped large scoops onto a greased cookie sheet. Then I sprinkle these with a mixture of cinamon sugar.
Recently, I tried putting the dough into muffin tins, and I had wonderful results. The cooking time had to be altered, however. The time that the scones spent in muffin tins would have burnt the drop scones to crisps.
Whatever you choose- I have had good results with 375F for about 30 minutes. Watch them carefully, I put them in at 15 minute or 10 minute intervals. Depending on how cool the butter is, sometimes the scones burn a little quicker.