Last Sunday morning we baked two batches of scones, one sweet, the other savoury.
Maggie likes to take a scone to work for morning tea and both of these scone varieties can be frozen then reheated successfully in a microwave oven. On Sunday, we were also aiming to take some scones to share with my mother’s younger sister and one of her daughters, ie my cousin; they were very keen to see our travel photos.
Date and spice scones
I first tried this recipe about 11 years ago. It was the first time I had made a scone – at the ripe old age of 49 – and I was a little tentative. They worked out okay but nothing that special, so I didn’t make them often. However, I added the recipe to our in-house book of favourite recipes and, eventually, decided to make some with the cooking group I support as a volunteer at Strathdon, a local aged care facility. They were very successful, partly due to the long-practised skills of the cooking group members and partly because I increased the quantity and variety of the spices.
With sugar in the mixture, it is easy to burn these scones, so be careful with the heat and length of cooking. In our oven, 170C is hot enough. If you find them a little dry, you could add another five grams or so of butter next time or serve them with a dollop of thick cream. As you can see from the photo, we cut them in a rustic manner, using a bread and butter knife.
250g self-raising flour
¼ tsp grated nutmeg, ½ tsp mixed spice
pinch of salt
30g cold butter, roughly diced
2 tbsp sugar
150g chopped dates
- Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper or a dusting of flour.
- Sift flour, spices and salt into a mixing bowl, add sugar, then rub in butter.
- Add dates.
- Combine milk and water, add to bowl and mix to form a soft dough.
- Knead together quickly, then press out on a suitable surface and cut into thick pieces, approx 4cm x 4cm.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
This recipe is a favourite with the cooking group at Strathdon; we make them several times a year. The flavours of the various ingredients work together really well. Maggie gets a little edgy if the supply in our freezer drops below four or five!
2 cups self-raising flour
< ¼ tsp sweet paprika
50g unsalted butter, chilled
75g ham (for cooking, we use one that is triple-smoked)
3 spring onions
< ¼ red capsicum
1 cup (120g) grated tasty cheese
- Preheat oven to 180C. Flour a baking tray.
- Chop the ham, spring onions and capsicum.
- Sift flour into a large bowl and add the paprika and a generous pinch of salt. Cube the butter and rub it into the flour.
- Stir the ham, spring onions and capsicum into the mixture, followed by the cheese.
- Add the milk, cutting it into the dry mixture until just combined. Do NOT overmix!
- Tip the mixture onto the prepared tray. Form into a flat round, about 18cm in diameter. Cut into 8-10 wedges then separate the wedges slightly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- Serve warm, spread with a little butter or similar.