Inspired by the traditional Easter Hot Cross Buns, these scones are zesty, spiced and completely delicious! They are also much easier and quicker to make than Hot Cross Buns as they require no yeast or proving, making the dough much more workable and thus very easy to throw together at the last minute.
Once you’ve mastered these scones, there’s no limit to the different kinds of scones you can make – from cheese to chocolate chip, scones are wonderful on their own, heated up and slathered with butter, and of course with lots of jam and cream. And they are a fantastic bake to rustle up for last minute guests too. The result should be crunchy on the outside and crumbly yet soft on the inside - like the secret lovechild of a cookie and a cake. :)
(makes about 9 large or 15 small)
- 225g self-raising flour
- 40g caster sugar
- 75g unsalted butter
- 50g mixed fruit peel
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 large egg, beaten
- about 3-4 tablespoons milk to mix
- a little extra flour for rolling
- 1/2 cup icing sugar (sifted) & 1 tsp water
1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C.
2. First sift the flour into a bowl then add the sugar and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks crumbly.
3. Next sprinkle in the fruit, the nutmeg & orange zest, then pour in the beaten egg and add 3 tablespoons of milk.
4. Start to mix to a dough with a spoon, then bring the mixture together using your hands – it should be a soft but not a sticky dough, so add more milk (a teaspoon at a time) if the dough seems too dry.
5. Form the dough into a ball and place it onto a lightly floured working surface.
6. Sprinkle some flour on a rolling pin (so it doesn’t stick) and roll it out very lightly to a thickness of about 3cm. (This thickness is vital. So often the reason scones don’t rise enough is simply because the dough is rolled too thin.)
7. Then take the pastry cutter and tap it sharply so that it goes straight through the dough. When you have cut as many as you can, knead the remaining dough together again and repeat.
8. Then place the scones on the lined baking tray and bake near the top of the oven for 12–15 minutes, until they have risen and the tops have started to become golden.
9. Remove them to a cooling tray and let them cool down a little before drizzling white icing on top for the cross effect :) They will keep fresh in an airtight container (not in the fridge) for about 4 days.