It began with this:
..and it ended with this:
a scone with the SconeLady's sister
I awoke this morning to the thought and texture of scones, and realized that by day's end I would have to have one (perhaps, even two). Has this ever happened to you? For you it might be something else, something like toast, or cinnamon rolls, or pie. But because I am the SconeLady, the morning craving is almost always for a scone. So I got out my normal ingredients for a plain scone - which would be, of course, absolutely divine. Then suddenly I remembered The Little Book of Scones. Since meeting its authoress, Grace Hall, I have learned to branch out. Take the plunge. Live dangerously!
So today I chose the Raspberry Scones, 'with vanilla and lychee cream'. I like raspberries, and decided that one simply cannot go amiss with a raspberry scone. The 'vanilla' part sounded interesting. But when it came to 'Lychee Cream' I was stumped and had to go to my online encyclopedia. There I found that the lychee is a member of the soapberry family - and you can find out more about the fascinating Lychee here!
Anyway, I could not locate any lychees at my local, and so decided to go with raspberries instead. And the result was fabulous.
Here is the recipe. I hope you will try it!
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F
450g/3 2/3 cups self-raising flour
2 large pinches salt
175g/1 and 1/2 sticks butter, cold and cut into small lumps
(1 and 1/2 sticks butter = 3/4 cups)
75g/heaped 1/3 cups superfine sugar
1 tsp Bird's custard powder
90g/3 oz fresh raspberries, washed
1 heaped tsp baking powder
5-6 Tbsp buttermilk
for the cream:
200ml/3/4 cup + 4 tsp heavy cream
2 tsp superfine sugar
12 lychees, finely chopped (I used raspberries)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the flour, salt and butter, either in a food processor or with a pastry cutter. The mixture should resemble breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, custard powder, raspberries and baking powder.
Whisk together eggs and buttermilk and then pour into the dry mixture. Fold the mixture with a spatula, finishing it off with your hands. Your raspberries should squish out as they pop! A bright red color will leaks into the dough, and this is exactly what you want.
Place the dough on a flowered surface and chaff it gently with your hands until it becomes smooth. Roll out the dough to approximately 2.5cm or 1 inch, then cut the scones. The cutter should be about 4cm or 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The dough will not rise well if the cutter is too large (I used a small tea cup, not having any cookie cutters!)
Brush the tops with buttermilk and dust with flour (I actually used superfine sugar instead of the flour), and then bake for 15 - 20 minutes. It took mine just about 5 minutes longer.
Whip the heavy cream and gradually add the sugar. Add vanilla just at the end. Stir in the lychees (or other berries).
I served these scones hot, with butter, jam and the cream (as is my wont), and of course, the tea! But Grace suggests the scones be cooled, halved, and filled generously with the cream. Then keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Either way will be delicious!
But I forgot to tell you about my secret ingredient! A kindly sister welcomed me into her home with my scones, and jam, and cream. Together we organized ourselves and sat talking, sipping our tea and munching our scones. It was altogether satisfying, dear Readers. We have a long history, you see; and there is always something interesting to say, with no fear of saying it.
See you along the way!