Making your own English plain scones is really easy with this basic scone recipe. Delicious airy scones that you can serve with clotted cream and a homemade cranberry compote. If you are having a high tea or afternoon tea soon, this recipe is for you! These baked goods are simple, fast, and super tasty.
Classic Scones recipe with Homemade Compote
Making your own scones is very easy, I've got several tea scones recipes on my site, and this is my English scones recipe. The scones are in the oven within 10 minutes. Delicious buttery layers, super airy. And if you make it yourself, it is still warm when you eat it. Delicious!
I thought long and hard about what to serve with the scones. Clotted cream (or whipped cream) of course, but something fruity could be added. So I made a cranberry compote.
According to a Sarah Raven recipe: Eating with family and friends (this book is highly recommended, it's got a lot of delicious recipes!). It was a great combination with the fluffy scones.
What do you need to prepare Classic Scones and Cranberry Compote
For the preparation of Plain scones and cranberry compote, you require the following ingredients (you can find the correct amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the blog):
Why using a combination of fresh and dried cranberries?
Cranberries are very sour on their own. Dried cranberries are usually sweetened with apple juice and the acidity is less strong. The combination ensures that the compote is full of flavor, without becoming too sour. You can vary the ratio, but this recipe produces a delicious sweet and sour compote.
What wine do you use?
Use a sweet wine, such as port wine. Ruby and Tawny are both good choices. If you don't want to use alcohol, replace it with apple juice, grape juice, or berry juice.
How can you make Clotted Cream?
Usually, I use store-bought clotted cream for eating with plain scones and jam. However, when I can't get my hands on it, I make my own. By mixing five tablespoons sour cream with four tablespoons of Mascarpone. You can double this recipe if you're in need of more. If you can't prepare it, you could also use whipped heavy cream to go with this scone recipe.
How do you make English Scones with a compote of cranberries
A recipe with extensive steps, the right amount of ingredients, and which you can also easily print can be found at the bottom of the blog.
- If you make the cranberry compote, start with that. Place the fresh and dry cranberries, port, light brown sugar, star anise, and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 14 minutes. Let the compote cool.
- Continue making the English Scones. Sift the dry ingredients three times into a large mixing bowl.
- Rub the butter into the flour and add the milk all at once, mixing the dough with a wooden spoon.
- Then knead the dough 4 to 5 times and then stop kneading, but start folding. Fold 4 to 5 times.
- Press the dough into a 4 x 6 inch (10 x 15 cm) rectangle. Press a round cutter into the flour and then a round of dough from the cloth. Place on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper and repeat until the dough is used up.
- Brush the top with milk and bake the scones for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 465 °F (240°C).
Variations and Tips
- Frozen Butter: Frozen butter allows you to get very small pieces of butter through the dough. When you then bake the scones, steam escapes from the cold butter (butter contains 18% water), creating creamy, crunchy and flaky layers. Grating the butter before freezing it will make it easier to work into the dough without it getting too hot and blend to much.
- Cold: To get flaky layers (which is what the authentic plain scones are known for), you want the dough to be as cold as possible. To do this, freeze the butter (see above) and put the rest of the ingredients in the fridge (at least 1 hour) before making the dough.
- Do not knead: The real English scones consist of layers of dough, making them very airy. You get the layers by kneading and folding the dough as little as possible (just fold the dough from top to bottom, or from left to right). Make sure you don't work on the dough too much (because then the layers will disappear).
- Cut Out Scones: Make sure to cut out the scones by pressing, not twisting the round cutter. By turning, you press the layers to be closed on the outside and you lose the airiness. So make sure to press the scones out of the dough rectangle without turning.
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Easy Plain Scones Recipe with Cranberry Compote
Cranberry lime compote:
- 3½ cups fresh cranberries
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 lime grate and juice
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons port wine
- 3 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ oz. butter frozen and grated
- ½ cup milk cold
- 1 tablespoon milk for glazing the tops of the scones
Ingredients you need per step are listed below the step in Italic
- Put all the ingredients in a large pan.3½ cups fresh cranberries, ½ cup dried cranberries, 1 lime, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, 6 tablespoons port wine, 3 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick
- Heat the pan on medium heat and bring it to a boil, while stirring.
- Lower the heat and simmer for about 12-14 minutes.
- Put the mixture in a bowl and let it cool down in the refrigerator.
- Remove the anise and cinnamon and warm the compote before serving.
- Preheat oven to very hot 465 °F or 430 °F.
- Sift the dry ingredients three times into a large bowl.1¼ cup all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Rub the grated, very cold butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces.1¼ oz. butter
- Add nearly all the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough, the lighter the scones (biscuits will be).½ cup milk
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough.
- Knead very gently once (do not press too hard), then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.).
- Pat or roll out the dough into a 4 x 6 inch (15 x 10 cm) rectangle (1 inch / 2 cm thick)
- Using a well-floured 2-3 inch (5-7 cm) cookie cutter, stamp out without twisting six rounds
- Gently reform the scraps into another layer and cut two more scones.
- Place the rounds spaced about 1 inch / 2 cm apart on a prepared baking sheet.
- Glaze the tops with milk.1 tablespoon milk
- Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable), until the scones are well risen and are lightly colored on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
- Immediately place onto a cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.
- Room temperature: The plain Scones can be stored airtight for a day at room temperature in an airtight container.
- Refrigerator: The compote can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can keep the scones in the fridge for a week, but the structure will change due to the moist environment.
- Freezer: Pack the scones in an airtight container. This way they stay good in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Refresh: Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180°C) and reheat the scones for 5 minutes. You can also halve them and warm them in the toaster.