These are the scones I made for my final pitch to the judges for the #CallingAllDreamers competition yesterday. They are pictured here with an immodest amount of homemade plum jam and smeared with an embarrassing amount of European butter. The recipe is my husband's who is Irish so I guess they are authentic. They are sweetened with just a bit of sugar and golden raisins or currants. (The kids balk at the raisins and I've managed to sometimes replace them with mini chocolate chips but this is a horror to my husband.) My husband is also horrified that I use the food processor to cut in the butter, worrying about the flour becoming too "agitated"; I don't know what he's talking about but I think cutting in the butter this way keeps it cold and makes fast work of the process. I like to add half of the cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse until finely distributed and then add the rest of the butter and process it just until the butter is in pea-sized lumps. He and I both agree you should add the liquid gently and by hand and that you should just work the dough so that it comes together. The result is a lovely, high-risen, buttery but not too sweet vessel for the butter and jam you generously slather on it. Here's the recipe; amounts are in weight as is common in British recipes.
Preheat oven to 425
8 oz self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 oz sugar
3 oz unsalted butter
3 oz dried currants or raisins
About 2/3 cup of butter milk but may need more or less
1 egg scrambled with 1 teaspoon milk for egg wash
Mix together flour, salt, sugar, soda; cut in the cold butter, either by hand or in the processor. Transfer to a large bowl if using processor.
Mix in the dried fruit (or mini chocolate chips).
Slowly add in buttermilk, starting with 1/4 cup and mix gently with your hands until the dough starts to come together.
Keep adding buttermilk slowly until it just holds together.
Turn out into a lightly floured board and work gently to bring it together. Roll out flat to about 3/4" high.
Cut out in circles with a round biscuit cutter.
Place on baking sheet about 1" apart. Brush with the egg wash and bake for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
Best served warm with a cup of milky English tea.