It’s been a tough few weeks. I’ve reached the stage in my degree where the wheat is well and truly separated from the chaff. And I can tell you, it’s taking everything I’ve got not to be chaff.
Now is not the time for anything adventurous. Not the time to be whipping up the latest ginger infused crème brûlée or trying to finally master that chocolate-raspberry soufflé. Instead, I long to become re-acquainted with an old friend. Something so familiar that it’s mere ordinary-ness is a joy in and of itself.
My grandma used to make “scones” every single week, half of which she would give to my uncle. He would take one to work with him to have after lunch, every day, rain or shine.
I use quotation marks because they aren’t really scones at all, at least not in the true ‘afternoon tea’ sense of the word. They are rock buns. Dense, buttery, and with an outward appearance worthy of their name. They will easily tide you over until your next meal, especially if they the size of a fist like the ones my grandma used to make.
But to me they are and always will be “scones” (and in my household that’s “scone” as in “bone”, not as in “gone”; seriously, wars have been fought over less). Truly glorious in their familiarity and simplicity. Serve with an obligatory cup of tea and an extra slathering of butter for good measure.
Makes 16 small or 8 large scones.
Heat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
Mix together the 8 oz all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Then rub in 4 oz butter.
Stir in 4 oz raisins and 2oz caster sugar.
Combine to a stiff dough by adding 1 medium egg and a few drops of milk. If the dough gets too sticky, add a little more flour.
Roll into 16 small or 8 large balls and arrange on the baking sheets.
Bake for 10-15 minutes for small scones, and 20-25 minutes for larger scones. They should have a nice golden crust on top.
Enjoy warm from the oven and spread with a little extra butter.