Sunday, September 19, 2010

A cup of tea & a fig & pistachio scone

It's practically Monday. I've had a busy weekend catching up on some needed chores... mainly laundry... yuck... I loathe this job... I wish I could just pop the kids in those paper suits that forensics wear... that way, I could just throw them in the bin *garbage* at the end of the day (that would be the suit, not the kids), and it would come with the added bonus of providing doodle paper for the kiddies when sitting at restaurants!

Anyhoo, amidst my laundry-filled weekend, I did attempt to make some scones... Now, I have to admit, scones have never been my forte... so I was a little hesitant, but figured, "how hard could they be?" (Obviously, I'm riding the high of my past few weeks in the kitchen)...
I have my mum's old recipe book here... complete with the grease-stained, crumb-marked pages of recipes I helped bake with her as a kid... I always smile as I open this book, as I am instantly transported back to our little kitchen, with the mustard cabinets and blue tiles...ahh, don't you just love the 70's?
My mum whips up a batch of these scones while waiting for something to cook on the stove top.. she makes it look that easy..

So, I followed the recipe to the letter... except for the addition of dried figs and pistachios...

She always tells me to use 'best butter' (which I did)... she tells me to make sure the butter is nice and cold (it was)...

Sift the flour from a height (I did)... Don't over work the mixture; better to have the pastry too soft than too dry (I could practically see the air in the mixture)... she told me if using pastry cutters, don't twist them; pull them up (I did).... get them into the oven as quickly as possible (fast as lightening)... make sure the oven has been preheated for a while (it was lovely and toasty)... I did all of this, but they still didn't rise like my Mum's.. I thought that now that I am a Mum, I had secret Mummy powers... Powers that lead you to ace all baking... apparently not...

Anyhoo, I still thought I'd show you my scones... I'm prepared to share the good, the bad, and the ugly here...

I have to say, though, that they didn't taste too shabby... not dry or flaky... just a little flatter than they should be...

I'm going to keep having a bash at these until I make the perfect scone... I'm on a mission now! Once I've cracked it, I'll share the secret with you or, even better, you could let me in on your secret to baking perfect scones! I popped the recipe at the end of the blog... let me know if you have more luck... I think I'm going to check back with my Mum...

Happy Monday all!

10 ½ oz self raising flour

2 ¾ oz butter

1 ¾ oz caster sugar

 5 fl oz milk
1 ¾ oz chopped dried figs
1 ¾ oz chopped unsalted pistachios

1.       Preheat the oven to 400°F. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl… as my Mum say’s ‘Do it from a height, to get air into the mixture’...

2.       Cut the cold butter into small squares and add it to the flour. Mix the butter into the flour until all the pieces are coated, then rub the butter in, using your fingertips, until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. While doing this lift the mixture, so as to incorporate as much air into the mixture as possible.

3.       Stir in the sugar, dried figs and pistachios. Pour in the milk and mix with a round-bladed knife to make a soft dough. When the mixture forms a rough ball, put on a lightly floured work surface.

4.       Knead the dough briefly to smooth out the cracks… don’t overwork the dough or your scones will not rise so well… (I swear I did this)… Press or roll out to ¾ inch thickness and cut into rounds with a 2½ inch pastry cutter. Gather up the scraps of dough, knead briefly, roll out again and cut out some more scones.

5.       Place on a baking sheet, with a little room between them. Brush with a little milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake until they have risen and are a golden brown, around 10-12 minutes. Pop on a cooling rack and leave to cool.  I like to eat them while they are still a little warm, split and spread with a little butter and jam…

Ok… mine didn’t rise too well, but they sure tasted good!


  1. Well, they certainly look yummy! I love pistachios. I've never made anything like that before, but I do love to eat them. :)

  2. oh you make me giggle...i personallyLOVE my scones flat!

    the flatter the better for me!!

    i too have a recipe book like that which i bake banana muffins from, like my mum did....
    it always makes it a little more special doesn't it...

    happy monday honey...

    melissa xxx

  3. Bless you for sharing your flops as well as your successes! I'm a bread making failure, myself. Mom makes great yeast breads, and as hard as I try, I just don't have the 'touch'! Have a great day!

  4. Hi there Laura, seems we have a few things in common! I am from the UK too and came to australia; but staying here! And I just adore tea, I cant even think in the morning until I have had my first cup! And theres nothing like warm scones with jam and cream (I sound like such an old grandma!! lol - I am only 35, but my husband is always saying I am like an old lady!!!) Anyway, its lovely meeting you and reading your lovely blog. I look forward to following you!
    Laura currie xxx

  5. Oh how I love tea and scones. I will give them a try.

  6. Interesting combination of ingredients - they look delicious!

  7. Doing laundry isn't fun but at least you don't have to do it by hand. You have a washing machine to do it for you.

    -Zane of ontario honey


Your comments make my day!

Related Posts with Thumbnails