Afternoon tea, 80pp.
by Parragon Books, Love Food editors
Parragon Publishing, Bath, UK, 2011
Cooking on page 32
This is another cookbook off the shelves of my sister, Susan, in Oklahoma. Not sure where she bought it, but it probably was in London when she visited her daughter, Ellen, who is married to Tom, an Englishman.
Looks like this book is getting a good international run, having been used in the UK, USA, Ghana and now Australia.
Ghana, you ask? When Susan’s son, Charlie, spent time in Ghana a few years back, Susan sent photocopies of the entire book to help a little café there get going with recipes.
Cherry and golden raisin scones
6 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
generous 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp superfine sugar
pinch of salt
3 tbsp chopped candied cherries
3 tbsp golden raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp milk, plus extra for brushing
Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Grease a baking sheet and line with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the candied cherries and golden raisins. Add the egg and the milk and mix well together to form a soft dough.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 3/4 inch/2 cm, and cut out eight rounds using a 2-inch/5-cm round cutter.
Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with milk.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
How it played out
These got made just before Christmas when I was in the USA for Charlie’s wedding. I felt so lucky to have my great-nephew Georgie (son of Susan’s daughter, Katie) on hand to help. Maybe there is chef-dom in his future because Georgie enjoys all types of cooking and willing tackles the messy tasks. He even featured in a page-32 brownie recipe a couple of years back.
Georgie and I made this as written, but ran into problems with the dough. It turned out dry (not soft) and impossible to roll out, so we sort of mushed it down with our hands and hacked away with a cutter. Obviously, the cut-out scones weren’t very beautiful and the baked scones were quite dry. But nothing that a lot of butter, jam and cream couldn’t disguise.
Hard to say exactly how tasty these would be if made with, say, a 1/4 cup less flour. The addition of the fruit was great so instead of making this recipe again, I’d use my stand-by scone recipe and just add the fruit.
They looked festive (especially on Susan’s wintry plates) and were a good choice for pre-Christmas.
P.S. Georgie and I also did a lot of apple pie-making this year, but not from any page 32. And I’m sure you noticed that he is a big fan of the Green Bay Packers!
P.P.S. Further to the Ghana I mentioned in the introduction, I am in Bharatpur, India, at the moment. Yesterday we walked along the Ghana Canal in the Keoladeo National Park. I was there about 14 months ago and loved it so much I had to come back. You can have a look here.