Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Sconage and home made jam-ba-lam

Home made scone, raspberry jam and cream - excellent Sunday morning fodder
Now, having visitors to stay (Mr Flowers and his dear Mum are in the frozen north at the moment), has many benefits. Your house is generally cleaner than normal (!), the food in the cupboards often boasts a few treats and you tend to cook more of the things you all love and generally make more of an effort. If this is what its like having visitors for a week, who knows how efficient many of us would be plonked into the middle of a reality TV show! Would we be blase and casual or getting the cloots oot (cloths out) and giving everything a thorough dight (wash). Weekend grub at this house often includes a bit of baking and having visitors just made it even more of an excuse to make an early batch of scones on Sunday for brekkie. Mr Flowers is keen on a good scone with raspberry jam and cream, he's very particular about his sconage consumption, so we try and make an effort when he's about.
These are really great, even if I do say so myself! We make these alot in the house and the best thing about them is they are almost zero effort, cost less than 50p per batch, cook in 12 mins and bedazzle even a teenager or two. You appear to have made a sterling effort for your family/guests/random children about for sleepovers, but in reality they are minimal effort for quick maximum yumminess. This is not a secret family recipe, I think the origins of these are in the good old Australian Womens Cookbooks I was fortunate enough to buy years ago when learning how to bake olympically quickly. (I was offered a job in a local cafe on the island of Colonsay, to bake cakes. Can you bake she said, of course I said fingers crossed behind my back........nothing like a bit of motivation eh?) Anyhow - the recipe for oven baked scones:

2 cups Self raising flour
1 cup milk (sour milk is actually perfect, we keep any we have and make these with it)
1 oz butter
1-2 tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
Drizzle of milk to dress them at the end if required
Extra flour for the board and the tray

Bowl, knife, scone cutter or glass, glazing brush or fingers to glaze, baking tray dusted liberally with flour

Put oven on to highest setting - 220 Celsius or equivalent
Measure flour into a bowl adding all dry ingredients
Cut up butter into chunks and blend into flour mix with fingers until 'bread crumb' texture
Add milk and use knife to bind mix together - minimal mixing
Turn dough onto floured table - again minimal mixing roughly pat the mixture to a thickness of 1 inch
Cut using cutters or a glass - 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter makes about 18-20+ scones
Gently 'shoogle' the scones in a clockwise direction with your hands to plump them up a bit before placing on the floury tray - they can be close together as they will rise up rather than sideways but not touching
Brush or finger tip the milk over the top of the scones
Into the top of the preheated oven - check at 10 mins and change tray around if required, out by 12 minutes - can check if cooked by taking a scone from the middle of the tray and gently opening it with your fingers by 'twisting' the scone apart (don't cut you won't see if its cooked) if the scone is cooked through you'll see it is by twisting them apart.
Place out of oven and get a basket ready - put a tea towel in basket or on a plate and put the scones in - cover this keeps them soft.
Best eaten on day one, if any left - they are OK heated on day two but otherwise - feed to hens or birds!

Scoff with cheats raspberry or any other fruit jam. I freeze rasps from the garden and when doing scones - you can take out the rasps either before you make the scones or the night before if you are organised. Or buy a punnet and go for it!
This is a no-cook jam, which you can also see there isn't much left of it! These type of jams are NON cook, so they won't keep for a long time, but about a week in the fridge. I put 200g of fruit into a Kilner jar or a reusable jar/bowl and add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, crush the fruit with a fork and mix the sugar in to taste - usually 1-4 tbsp sugar will do. The fruit and the sugar will blend nicely together without cooking within 10-15 minutes (time for the scones to cook) and tastes nicer I think than boiling. This is not really properly preserved so needs to be kept in the fridge or eaten immediately. Not normally a problem in this house. Raspberries are in the freezer straight from picking - I usually put them into a large container - they freeze well and you can take out what you need as and when you like it.
A breakfast/cream tea fit for kings at less than £1 for 20+ scones + jam - the cream well that's an extra treat - we use a brand called Elmlea normally under £1 for a tub - which is a bit lighter on the old calories - meaning you can eat more! There you go - having visitors is very good to hone those baking skills. And, you can either be truthful and say - these are really no effort - or you can sit high on your chair and say 'Really it was nothing'! Either way, unless you share the secret - no one will no! The children have lately been present during scone construction and said 'is that REALLY it?' - yup that's it, they are very easy. Simple fool proof recipe - quick, easy and cheap to make. Job's a good un'! When Daffy came to stay over the winter holidays - we also had them then, now she knows I'm a bit of a cheat when I'm baking - not much effort involved at all! However, they are frugal fodder fit for the finest of folk!

For more excellent scone recipes - have a look at From Beyond My Kitchen Window blog - who's also made excellent strawberry scones too this week! must be the time of year - what a brilliant recipe too well worth a look! Thank you FBMKW!


  1. Yummm my mouth is watering. I will deffinatly be trying this receipe.

  2. A real treat. Also good with strawberry jam or strawberries, blackcurrant jam, mixed soft fruit...what time is tea?

  3. I'm definitely going to have a go at them!

    I'm even going to try to non-cook jam too!

  4. Thank you. We will be trying this recipe.

    You are sooooo clever!

    Sft x

  5. You are not a cheat - they were the real thing! :) :) I LOVE scones - and yours were Most Excellent :D :D

  6. These look amazing, and so much more authentic than any recipe I've tried. I love scones and I've been experimenting with new flavors and types for a while now. I love the idea of a no-cook jam. Thanks!

  7. Wow! I'd been reading about you and your scones, now I can see where it came from!

    Can I ask, tho, about weird intolerances I have? What about gluten free flour, if I made them with that, the proper Doves flour stuff? apparently a spoonful of xanthan gum helps .... and milk ... that little bit probably wouldn't harm, but do you know if soy millk would still cut it?

    **yearns for yummy scones **

  8. Lush. You are obviously an excellent hostess!

  9. after reading the potato peel pie book ...
    this brings it more to life!
    beautiful blog. thanks!

  10. Thank you guys for lovely comments!

    I urge you to try the recipe when you've time.

    Janet, you're very kind, jan I've not tried it but why not? Anon, I'll look up that book thank you!

    Sue and dreamer, hope you are great!

    Jenny glad you liked them, we make them a lot!

    Janet, always t time, sft thank you - jan the non cook jam is most cheaty and most excellent!

    Rainbow child, hope you did.....

    Xx thanks again