Port Mary Scones
These scones are a gang of happy, tired children with wild crimson cheeks and coarse woollen socks and shorts. If they are looking a bit untidy and rugged, it’s because they have been rambling and scrambling through the heather with the huge blue sky above them, the whipping wind in their hair and bits of canary gorse clinging to their thick jumpers.
|180g||white spelt flour, plus a little extra for rolling and dusting|
|40g||unsalted butter, cold and cubed|
|2 tsp||baking powder|
|½ tsp||bicarbonate of soda|
|10||scratches of nutmeg or ½ tsp ground nutmeg|
|200g||topped, tailed, peeled and finely grated courgette|
|1 tsp||clear honey|
|40g||glace cherries, roughly chopped|
|40g||porridge oats (rolled jumbo ones are best)|
|For the filling:|
|Good-quality strawberry jam|
|Clotted cream or butter|
You will need a food processor and a 6cm pastry-cutter.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Lightly brush the parchment with a little vegetable oil.
In a food processor, blend the flour with the butter, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and nutmeg, until fully combined and forming very fine breadcrumbs. Add the grated courgette and honey, and whizz again. This time you will arrive at a stage resembling damp dough. Don’t worry that it really is quite damp, as you will be adding flour when you knead in the other dry ingredients.
Tip the dough on to a clean, floured surface. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients (sultanas, cherries and oats) over it. Gently knead in these ingredients, as well as enough flour to make a soft and squidgy dough (4—5 tbsp on the work surface should be plenty). The dough shouldn’t feel at all wet but should be very flexible to handle.
Roll out gently (without pressing too hard) on a floured surface to roughly 5cm thick. Cut out eight circles and place them on the baking sheet. Dust the tops with a little extra flour and cook in the oven for 15 minutes until risen and golden.
Now I don’t care what anyone says, there is nothing like a bit of clotted cream and strawberry jam to go with these. If you are feeling virtuous (or strong-willed), a bit of low-fat crème fraîche is not a bad substitute. Like all scones, they are at their tip-top best when eaten warm from the oven, but they will also freeze very well too. Store in an airtight tin.