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Authentic English Scones With Currants

Maria is a master of public health and a master gardener. She and her husband, known as The Gardener & The Cook, live in coastal Alabama.

While in the UK, we had the option plain scones or fruit scones. We always chose the scones with currants.

While in the UK, we had the option plain scones or fruit scones. We always chose the scones with currants.

A couple of years ago, we spent a week in Scotland and England, where we fell in love with delicious scones and ate them with strawberry jam every day.

When we returned home, my husband, Bo, whom you know as "the cook", tried to re-create those scones. He tried multiple recipes, but none produced the result either of us wanted. The scones from the first recipe tasted fine, but they didn’t rise, so the texture was off completely. He tried another, and those rose a little more, but they were still not right. The third recipe he tried, the scones spread out and looked more like cookies than scones. After trying to find a good recipe, he eventually decided to create his own. It took a lot of trial and error, but he has perfected his own recipe. We are sharing it with you here.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (or self-rising flour)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened overnight (see note below)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or your preferred type of milk)

Recipe Notes

  • Butter: leave the butter out overnight to soften and reach room temperature. Scones are not flaky, so you don’t want cold butter.
  • Milk: begin with 1/4 cup milk, then add more if needed to reach the desired dough consistency. This will depend on your local humidity. We use almond or soy milk, but cow's milk, skim or whole, will do.
  • Pan: bake them in a cake pan. This prevents them from spreading, so they must rise upward instead of outward, as they will on a cookie sheet or other flat pan.
Baking the scones in a pan that requires they touch the sides, as well as each other, forces them to rise rather than spread out.

Baking the scones in a pan that requires they touch the sides, as well as each other, forces them to rise rather than spread out.

Instructions

  1. Put all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter using whisk attachment on mixer.
  3. Add the currants.
  4. Beat egg and milk together, then add to mixture.
  5. Mix together using dough hook, or mix by hand.
  6. Add more milk as needed to form a stiff dough.
  7. Roll dough into a ball on a floured board. Then press it out to a thickness of 1 inch (about 2.5 cm).
  8. Bake at 400°F for 23 minutes, or until golden brown. (Time will vary, depending on your oven.)

British English vs. American English

English scones should look more like our American biscuits, at least in size and shape.

What we call cookies, they call biscuits.

What we call biscuits, they call scones.

Scones and strawberry jam – it doesn’t get any better than this. Well, maybe with a cup of tea, of course.

Scones and strawberry jam – it doesn’t get any better than this. Well, maybe with a cup of tea, of course.

© 2021 MariaMontgomery