Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Scone By Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet; I'm Content to Nibble on a Scone Whilst Prince Will Canoodles with Kate

Usually associated with British 'high tea',  the scone is actually Scottish in origin but also popular in Australia, Ireland, the United States and some Scandinavian countries. A scone is basically an unleavened 'quick' bread similar to a biscuit but slightly sweeter. Shaped as rounds or wedges, scones have been around since feudal times when they were prepared over an open grill and made with oats. In more recent times, scones come in any number of varieties and are always oven-baked and made with flour. Here's a bit of history about where the name 'scone'  possibly came from courtesy of and Wikipedia:
The origin of the name 'scone' is just as unclear as where it came from. Some say the name comes from where the Kings of Scotland were crowned, the Stone (Scone) of Destiny. History reveals that in 1296, The Stone of Destiny was seized by King Edward I of Britain and transported to London, where it was laid beneath The Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey. However, legend has it that Pictish Monks outsmarted the King and concealed The Stone in an underground chamber. It was a Replica placed on The Hill of Belief that was seized by King Edward I. In 1996, this Stone was restored to the People of Scotland by the British Government and now resides in Edinburgh Castle. And what of the whereabouts of the true Stone of Destiny? Sadly, that Secret was Lost with the Monks…
Last week, probably in anticipation of the royal wedding, the New York Times ran the recipe below. I'd been saving a few over the years and when compared, they weren't all that different. I made these this afternoon and just out of the oven, were light and tasty....amazing with just a bit of melted butter. I couldn't find currants in my supermarket so I used raisins. I think they're a bit big but tasted fine.

I'll be getting up at 4 a.m to watch the ceremonies mostly to see Kate's dress and others, hear the music and to check out the church decor all of which promises to be spectacular. My scones with be reheated and served with English Breakfast tea, lemon and marmalade. I'll be using my 'coveted' Prince Charles and Lady Di plate purchased in Bermuda (left) in the summer of 1981, the year they were married.

It's really all just 'too-too.'

English Scones
Makes 12 large

3 cups self rising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 ounces cool unsalted butter
1 cup plus 1tablespoon milk
1 cup dried currants ( I substituted raisins)
1 egg yolk

  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add sugar.
  • Cut butter into small pieces and work into dry ingredients with hands or pastry blender.
  • Gradually add milk and the currants.
  • Knead by hand to make a smooth dough then refrigerate wrapped in plastic for twenty minutes.
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.
  • Roll dough to 3/4 inch thickness and cut with fluted cutter until used up.
  • Beat the egg yolk with 1 teaspoon milk and brush scones lightly. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and lightly browned.

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