First of all, a very happy new year to all of you!! Best wishes to all of you for a coming year filled with happiness, health and lots more delicious food :)
A couple of weeks ago, while I was in Munich, I had the great pleasure of meeting Rachana of Veggi Fare. She so kindly introduced me to a wonderful tearoom in the city that served the most heavenly scones, fresh out of the oven, with real clotted cream and jam. In fact, I loved them so much that I dragged my friends back there the very next day, insisting that they try the scones and that I get to eat more :) Now, I have meant to try my hand at scones for quite a while, but after relishing those, I just could not wait any longer. Thus, for my goûter party on New Year's, I decided to whip up a batch of fresh raisin scones, along with French-style thick, unctuous chocolat chaud. Needless to say, they turned out simply fabulous! Not at all too sweet, but flaky and buttery, savored with clotted cream and strawberry preserves, fresh, hot scones make for the perfect afternoon snack, particularly in the winter, but I could eat them any time of the year :) Just make sure all of your ingredients are cold and ready to go before you start mixing in order to ensure flaky scones. I used Ina Garten's recipe, halved, but with more raisins and sugar, and I got a yield of 7 very large scones. I have included the halved recipe below. Enjoy!
Raisin Scones: (Adapted from Ina Garten's Raisin Scones)
2 cups plus 1 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1.5 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
3/4 cup raisins
1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp. water or milk, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 400F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix in the cold butter at the lowest possible speed until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Combine the eggs and heavy cream (or have them combined beforehand), and quickly add them to the flour/butter mixture. Combine until just blended. Combine the raisins and 1 tbsp. flour and add to the dough and mix quickly. The dough may be a bit sticky.
Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and make sure it is well combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough out to 3/4 to 1 inch thick. You should have lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into squares, then triangles. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the scones with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the outsides are crisp and the insides are done. I actually froze mine for an hour before baking them, and I just added five minutes to the baking time. Serve warm with clotted cream and jam, and relish this delight with hot chocolate or a hot cup of tea :)