Aug 8, 2011

Irish Scones - Granny G's Finest!

Its a gloriously wet and windy day outside, the perfect weather for baking!! The weekend has been too bad to do any sea kayaking so a day of indulgent bakíng is needed. On days like these I usually set myself the task of doing something unusual and time consuming as I have plenty of time, but today I just want to relax, enjoy some home comforts and have a little trip down memory lane.



You might remember me talking about my grandmother who was a huge influence not only in my personal life but in my baking life too. She created some of the most stunning cakes and biscuits I have ever eaten. People used to fight over her coffee cream cake and I can tell you that it was incredible. She was quite the baker! It would have been her birthday this weekend and she was in my thoughts as she usually is when I bake. I can almost hear her telling me off for doing something wrong in the kitchen. She did that a lot and was always right!

The one baked item that she did religiously every weekend and almost too well was Irish Scones. Now, I use her recipe and her exact method but all i can say is that although mine are damn tasty I wish you could have tasted hers. They were huge, light, fluffy and delicious. Mine im afraid would never stand up next to hers but they are a firm favorite in this house and with the ever crazy Mr.B who usually eats four at one sitting and is still as skinny as a rake! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
  

Makes 5 large or 10 small Scones:

4oz Plain Flour
2oz Margarine
2oz Raisins
2oz Caster Sugar
Pinch Salt
2 Tsps of Baking Powder
Large Egg
Milk


Chill a large mixing bowl in the fridge for 30mins this will ensure your dough is cold. To a large mixing bowl sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Cut the margarine into small cubes and add to the flour. Keep the margarine in the fridge until needed as the colder the dough the better. Using just your finger tips rub the dough between your fingers to create a breadcrumb like consistency.

Now add the sugar and mix well. In a small bowl, mix the egg and a little milk just to bind the dough together. Add a little of the egg mixture to the dough, incorporating all the egg before adding more. Every dough is different so exact amounts never work with the liquid. Judge the dough for yourself, it should not be too dry nor should it be too wet.



Once the dough has been brought together, wrap it in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30mins. This will allow the dough to rest and prevent shrinking when cooking. Once the dough has rested, remove from fridge and place on a floured surface.



Roll the dough to about half an inch thick (I use an old bottle filled with ice water to keep the dough cold). Using either a pastry cutter or a cup, cut out the scones. Place the scones on a piece of baking paper to prevent sticking. Brush the tops with any remaining egg wash or a little milk. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 10-12 mins. The scones are ready when thetop is a golden color and the underneath has no soft, wet center remaining.

Serve warm with whipped cream and any jam you like. A nice strong cup of black tea makes it all the more Irish!


Tips:
1. Use a bottle filled with iced water to roll the dough and keep it cold.
2. Do not move dough cutter side to side as this can make your scones drop on one side.
3. Do not open door of oven for first 10 mins. The scones can collapse.

7 comments:

  1. A cup of tea an Irish scone and a chat with friends and family cannot be beat.

    I love the idea of the chilled water filled bottle for rolling. I remember hearing the best pastry coos had cold hand (poor circulation?)

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  2. Yum! I love scones and there are so many weird flavors out there (which I love) it's nice to see one that is back to the basics of scones. Definitely need to make these :-)

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  3. They look light and fluffy and wonderful.

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  4. dee@thymeandpatienceAugust 9, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    @the culinary lens.. My gran swore by it and although it sounds a bit mad it actually works!! Everything had to be cold, the bowl, the rolling pin, even if my hands were too warm she would make me put them in cold water first. She had all the great tricks!

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  5. Hubby's Irish grandmother had the magic touch when it came to baking, too...cinnamon rolls light as a feather without a recipe. Your scones look wonderful...and would make your grandmother proud~

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  6. What a lovely way to pay tribute to your grandmother. This warmed my heart. And the recipe is lovely.

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  7. What a lovely post and tribute to your Granny. I have a similar relationship with my Granny. Apple and Rhubarb pies were a weekly summer favourite, as were her scones. I love the way your recipe gives attention to detail, the cold bottle is a great tip. Thanks for sharing.

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