Making scones is a weekend tradition for us. I’m a big fan of the British scone. Cooks Illustrated has the nerve to say this:
The British original is lean, dry, and barely sweetened. Spoonfuls of jam and clotted cream are a must.
Bollocks! I know I’ve mentioned before how Cooks Illustrated recipes annoy me with their ridiculous obsessive compulsive details. Here they ask us to freeze the butter then grate it. Screw that!
And the Cooks Illustrated recipe has blueberries. Blueberries (insert shocked reaction). What is it with Americans and their fear of raisins? I know so many people who don’t like raisins. Or if they do they only like them alone but not cooked in stuff. I remember being a kid in kindergarten and having little boxes of Sun Maid raisins as a treat. When did everyone develop a complex about raisins?
We pulled out Jake’s British Good Housekeeping cookbook and here is my slight modification to the recipe.
1. First we make our own cultured butter. The culture is added to some heavy whipping cream (double cream) then sits in a dark cabinet for a few days. We then take a sample to freeze and shake the jar until butter forms. Afterwards you get cultured buttermilk and cultured butter. Making your own butter is obviously not part of either recipe but this is part of our weekend tradition.
2. Thank god for my John Lewis scale. It weighs grams and ounces and the top part doubles as a liquid measurer with millilitres. So I put 225 grams of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl and mix it up. I’m adding a half teaspoon of baking powder than in the British recipe because they use self-raising flour. And the two tablespoons of sugar is my addition too. I do light a slightly sweeter scone.
3. I cut in 40 grams of my newly made cultured butter with a pastry blender. Then I add about a 1/2 to 3/4 cups of raisins to that.
Next is 150ml plus of the newly created cultured buttermilk even though the British recipe asks for just plain milk. Stir it into the flour mixture until it starts to pull together. Add more buttermilk if needed.
4. Here’s where Cooks Illustrated has me. I drop the scones onto a baking sheet into amorphous blobs. I just don’t care enough to roll them into pretty uniform circles. And another American touch is to top them with a little sprinkle of raw sugar.
Finally bake at 425 degrees(220 C) for 12-15 minutes.
5. Cut open and eat with the newly made butter, which ahem, Cooks Illustrated, is the whole point. And cultured butter is the best. Yum.