I think I ought to share that although I own this book I’m not really a cupcake girl. In fact, I don’t think my blog has ever featured a cupcake, plenty of its dumpier sister - the muffin (which I adore by the way), but no cupcakes. So with it being National Cupcake last week, did I decide to participate? No sorry to disappoint, I didn’t because I was not in the mood for something that sweet. However I was in the mood to do some baking. It occurred to me to make some scones, a staple found in most British bakeries. Unfortunately because scones are rather plain and humble compared to the fashionista diva cupcake, they are somewhat beginning to fall out of favour with the British public. But not with me, a scone is just what I fancied: delicate, crumbly and light.
For those of you who may not be familiar with scones, scones are a small round cake made of raised dough, which may be sweet or savoury. Originating in Scotland, it is generally soft and light inside with a light brown crust. Scones can be eaten at breakfast or for tea. Scones were traditionally cooked on a griddle, a thick flat iron with a handle, placed on a fire or on top of the stove, they are now more often cooked in the oven.
Once I started putting the ingredients together, my eyes fell on the small bowl of ripe blackberries I had picked from the garden and some of those windfall apples. Although my original intention was to make some plain scones, this is what I ended up with: Autumnal apple and blackberry scones. Of course me being me with my cookie cutters, I just had to cut them out in the shape of an 'apple' too. These scones turned out rather good, even if I don’t say so myself. In fact I am going to boast and say that I think that even Delia Smith and Mrs Beeton would be proud of me.
The best way to eat a scone is fresh from the oven, not immediately though, give it about 30 minutes to cool down, then cut open slather generously with good butter and enjoy with a cup of Tea. If you want to indulge further, how about adding some whipped cream, maybe some hedgerow jam too. Updated: See fellow blogger The Ordinary Cooks variation of these scones. They look delightful.
225g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
30g caster sugar
100ml - 150ml milk
1 apple, grated
50 - 60g blackberries (I used fresh, but would recommend frozen)
1 egg, beaten (optional)
Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Rub the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and grated apple. Make a deep well in the flour, pour in the milk slowly, you may not need to use it all and mix to a soft, spongy dough with a knife. Fold in the blackberries very gently as they will break and bleed. On a floured surface, knead the dough very lightly until it is just smooth. Roll out to about 1 inch thick and stamp into rounds with a small pastry cutter. Gather the scraps together and cut into more scones. Brush the scones with beaten egg if using for a glossy crust or brush with milk, then sprinkle with flour. Bake the scones at the top of the oven gas mark 5 for 15-20 minutes, or until well risen and brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack, or serve hot from the oven.