- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter and cut-in using a pastry blender or two knives. Add the milk and blend well with a knife.
- Knead very little, just enough to get a smooth dough. Add a little flour if necessary. The dough should be very soft but not sticky.
- On a floured work surface, pat down the dough with your fingers to about 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick. With a 6-cm (2 ½-inch) in diameter round cookie cutter, cut out 10 disks. Place the scones on the baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cool. Serve at room temperature with Devonshire cream and a variety of jams.
In-between a cake and a cookie, the scone is a must for English tea service. If your scones are too dense, you probably over kneaded the dough. If the center is not cooked enough, perhaps you have placed the sheet too low in the oven or the oven wasn’t hot enough.
Alternatively, you can cut the scones in half and serve as mini-shortcakes with whipped cream and topped with berries.
You can add dried fruit to the dough before baking, such as raisins and cranberries.
For maximum freshness, the scones should be eaten the same day. However, you can freeze them immediately after they have cooled.
Where there are scones, there's Devon (or Devonshire) cream! This specialty of Devon county in England is a thick, rich cream that you spread on the scones before adding the jam. And according to the tea etiquette, you do not garnish whole scones, but rather one bite at a time. This delicious cream is not easy to find if you don't live near a specialty grocer. Here's an alternative that does not replace this luxurious cream, but will still work well on scones:
Simply blend room temperature cream cheese with 35% cream. You could also use a mixture of mascarpone cheese and 35% whipping cream.