Currant Scones or Fat Rascals

Robin Horn
Seasonal Eating

Recipe adapted from The Secret Garden Cookbook

As of January 6, the holiday season is concluded and we enter a more quiet and contemplative time of year. Looking back on the joy of the holidays and the blessings we’ve received during 2013 helps us pre-pave the way for a happy 2014. No need to remember what’s less than pleasant; it’s a brand new year now. Even tiny successes make rewarding recollections—like how I learned a secret to making scones on Christmas morning.
This simple scone recipe doesn’t rely upon large amounts of butter and cream like richer, more modern cream scone recipes. Published in the delightful Secret Garden Cookbook, this recipe hails from the mid 1850s, when baking powder was first invented. It uses milk instead of cream, plus a moderate amount of butter. I’ve added a bit of extra baking powder and more currants. The Secret Garden Cookbook, written for both adults and children, is a favorite source for simple historical recipes.
My scone-making secret? Don’t mix the dough thoroughly in the bowl. You’ll be mixing it with your hands, and some areas will feel wet and others dry and floury. All of this will be corrected on the kneading board. Use just a light dusting of flour on the board, and don’t over-knead. Gather the dry parts of the dough into the wet and push together gently, only about 4 times. If after 2 kneads the dough seems too crumbly to come together, add a teaspoon or so of extra milk to a dry area of the dough. Then sprinkle on any crumbly parts, fold over and knead together gently once or twice only. It’s okay if there are small floury areas. They will be incorporated as you form the dough into its final shape. See the Tips for Scone Success at the bottom of this post for more.



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