I was reminded of this recipe when the lady over at “Dates and Quinces” asked for a recipe. Check-out her great blog at: http://www.datesandquinces.com/2011/03/looking-for-scone-recipe.html
Scones are REALLY not my best thing. I have few illusions of myself but I know that I usually have good luck with recipes and even when I simply chuck things together I get pretty lucky. I remember my lab partner in culinary school being very precious with his Hollandaise and it constantly splitting. My pretty much boiled away and was still bullet proof.
Scones however, are my nemesis.
This is especially galling as I have really terrific memories of eating literally dozens and dozens of scones (in the Valley they are just biscuits) fresh from the wood oven at the farm.
We would have them with dinner and then make a pool of maple syrup on our plates and have some more to sop up the syrup. This would be before dessert. At the farm for dessert there were usually two choices and if you really couldn’t decide you were allowed to have a small piece of both! In our defense we would have spent the day in the bush either cutting wood, trimming, fencing, haying…but still.
Here’s my Grandma Gibson’s recipe, it is the only one that I’ve ever had turn out well enough to not want to use them to tile a roof. It has taken me years to even get to this point-even though I watched her make them hundreds of times.
I’ve tried fancier recipes that use copious amounts of 35% cream and LOTS of butter. Do yourself a favour and follow this recipe instead, save the butter and cream to top the finished product.
3 cups of flour mixed with 1/4 tsp salt and 4 tsp baking powder. Rub in 3/4 cup of shortening (butter does not work for me) until the bowl has what appears to be crumbs. Add 1 1/2 cups of milk and mix to JUST combine (for some reason my Gran always said no more than 12 stirs-oddly I’ve just read this in another recipe book [A Homemade Life] so it must be a Scottish thing).
Turn out onto a floured countertop and pat into a 1/2 inch layer and cut into the shapes you would like, Grandma always used a juice glass.
You can eggwash for a shiny top if you would like but I don’t usually bother. On the farm, this would have seemed like a waste of an egg. Cook in a hot oven (approx. 400 degrees) until they are browned on the top and bottom.
My Gran’s rose so much that they often toppled over, you could peel the layers off one by one and no one could ever eat a single biscuit.
I’m not to those heights yet-perhaps when I make them almost every day for 50 years?