Baking scones with my grandmother is one of my very first cooking memories. I can’t recall which kitchen we were in, but I do remember every detail of the experience, from learning how to rub the butter into the flour to watching them rise, as if by magic, in the oven. She said I had a gift, a knack. I glowed with pride and have been making them ever since.
Scones, fresh from the oven, are the perfect gift to bring when visiting a friend or to make when someone’s coming over for afternoon tea. They smell delicious, show that you’ve made a special effort and are really easy to make.
I love plain scones with jam and cream, but I’m also partial to adding dried fruit (as long as we’re not talking raisons and sultanas – yuck). Normally, I toss in a handful of dates, but today all I had in my cupboard were figs and crystallised ginger. Two delicious flavours that seem to work well together.
Now all I have to do is find someone to visit. Any takers?
recipe: fig and ginger scones
270g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt
30g butter, room temperature
60g golden caster sugar
60g figs, chopped
30g crystallised ginger, chopped
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F.
- Grease a cookie sheet or baking tray with butter.
- Into a bowl, sift flour and baking powder.
- Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it forms a bread crumb-like consistency.
- Add the sugar, ground ginger and chopped figs.
- Beat the egg and the milk together then pour into the mixed ingredients, leaving a little bit left over for glazing.
- Mix all the ingredients together then turn out onto a floured surface.
- Knead carefully then press the dough into a piece about 3cm thick.
- Cut into rounds using a cookie cutter (for the above, I used one that has a fluted edge and a diameter of 6cm).
- Place on the greased cookie sheet or baking tray.
- Glaze with the milk/egg mixture.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- When done, place scones on a wire rack to cool (or eat them straight away with lashings of butter and a cup of builders tea).