Orange & Sultana Scones

With the Summer months fast approaching my mind began to wander to hot lazy afternoons filled with picnics and afternoon teas.
And all of a sudden I had the urge to bake scones. So with the wind howling outside and rain clouds threatening I thought of nothing but Summer and made these orange and sultana scones.

Ingredients – Makes 6-8 generous scones

350g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp caster sugar
85g cold butter, cut into cubes
175ml milk
A squeeze of lemon juice
Zest of 1 orange
85g sultanas soaked in orange juice
1 beaten egg, for glazing
2 baking sheets
A palm sized cutter (fluted or straight)
Fan oven pre heated to 200C (if you know your oven is on the hotter side, go for 180C and bake for a little longer)
1. To begin with, soak the sultanas in the juice of 1 orange and set aside – this can be done overnight for more flavour.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder, add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers, until it looks like breadcrumbs.
3. Drain the sultanas and add them, the sugar and the orange zest to the breadcrumb mixture.
4. Pop the baking sheets into the oven so it heats up (helps the scones rise!). Add a squeeze of lemon to the milk and stir.
(It might sound strange to add lemon juice to the milk but as this recipe doesn’t use buttermilk, this substitutes that. The acidity also encourages the baking powder hopefully giving a better rise)
5. Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture. Stir this through the dry ingredients with a normal knife, using cutting motions.
6. On a large dry surface, sprinkle a generous amount of flour and turn out the dough. Cover the top of the dough with a little more flour and also your hands.
7. Fold the dough over a couple of times until it looks smoother. Shape it into a rough circle and pat down until approx. 3cm thick. Dip your pastry cutter into the flour and cut out the scones.
TOP TIP – use a straight cutter rather than a fluted cutter and you’ll have a cleaner cut, meaning there’s a better chance of your scones rising.
8. Take the beaten egg and wash over the tops of the scones with a small amount (too much and it can stop them from rising, especially if it goes down the sides!)
9. Take the hot baking sheets out of the oven and place the scones on them, immediately putting them back into the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.
Serve warm with a slathering of butter or the traditional way with clotted cream and jam.
Jam first or cream first? It depends where you’re from!
If you’re from Devon then it’s cream first and if you’re from Cornwall then it’s jam first. But however you prefer to do it, make sure it’s loaded with both!
This recipe is adapted from BBC Good Food.

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