It was my month to host book club and I picked a book set in England where they are forever sitting down to tea. So, I decided nothing was more appropriate than throwing a little book club tea party. I borrowed the tiered plates from Diane, made macaroons, tea sandwiches, berries with real whipped cream, and even pulled out the butterfly tea set that I have been moving from place to place trying not to break for years. And of course what is a tea party without English style scones?! When I dreamed up this idea I remembered in the cobwebs of my mind clipping a recipe for English scones from one of my Cooks Illustrated magazines and tucking it away for just such an occasion. I pulled out the recipe, they were easier than I would have thought, and tasted divine! I served mine with butter, lemon curd, and plum jam I made from my plum tree. So good!
BRITISH-STYLE CURRANT SCONES
- 3 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 pieces and softened (I forgot that part and just threw my butter in cold from the fridge)
- 3/4 C dried currants
- 1 C whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in food processor until combined. Ad butter and pulse until fully incorporated and mixture looks like very fine crumbs with no visible butter. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in currants.
- Whisk milk and eggs together in second bowl. Set aside 2 Tbsp milk mixture. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and using rubber spatula, fold together until almost no dry bits of flour remain.
- Transfer dough to well-floured counter and gather into ball. With floured hands, knead until surface is smooth and free from cracks, 25 to 30 times. Press gently to form a disk. Using floured rolling pin, roll disk into 9-inch round, about 1 inch thing. Using floured 2 1/2 in round cutter, stamp out 8 rounds. Arrange scones on prepared sheet. Gather dough scraps, form into ball, and knead gently until surface is smooth. Roll dough to 1-inch thickness and stamp out 4 rounds. Discard remaining dough.
- Brush tops of scones with reserved milk mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake scones until risen and golden brown, 10-12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer scones to wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve scones warm or at room temperature.