Whilst we were away, we made a batch of scones to keep us going inbetween meals (what can I say – it was an indulgent few days: being that they were eaten with generous amounts of clotted cream and fruit compote, one of these bad boys was pretty much a meal in itself!) Crystallised ginger in soft, crumbly scones was a revelation, and combined with a good grating of nutmeg gave a comforting, softly warming treat. The fruit compote was inspired by some we ate in a café in London over our toast and porridge a few weeks ago. It was divine, and was one of those things that you just have to try and make for yourself. So simple (the most difficult thing is fishing out the cloves and cardamom pods) but completely, utterly delicious.
For the scones (adapted from Delia)
225g self raising flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
40g golden caster sugar
75g soft butter
3 tbsp. chopped crystallised ginger
A good grating of fresh nutmeg
1 large egg
4 tbsp. milk
A pinch of salt
For the spiced berry compote (this makes a good amount – it keeps well in a sealed container the fridge for a few days):
500g frozen berries
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
Sugar to taste (I like my fruit a little on the tart side)
For the fruit compote:
Empty the fruit into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then add a few tablespoons of sugar to taste. Add the spices, and continue to boil for five minutes, until some of the liquid reduces but the fruit still remains soft and the compote is loose in consistency. Simmer on the lowest heat for a further fifteen minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate before serving (I like to leave the spices in, removing them only immediately prior to serving.)
For the scones:
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces, then rub in to the flour with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with the milk. Stir the ginger and nutmeg through the flour mix, then use a knife to stir though the egg. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. Add a small amount more milk if needed.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Flour your rolling pin, then roll out the dough until it’s about 2.5 cm high, cut out as many scones as you can with a small pastry cutter/glass/any other suitable implement. Don’t twist your cutter, as otherwise you may end up with somewhat mishapen scones…
Dust the tops with flour then gently place each scone onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake near the top of the oven for about 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
Particularly delicious with clotted cream, but still wonderful with butter!