Scone Palace has long been one of my favourite visitor attractions, in fact even as a kid we'd travel all the way from Dunoon to see the resident peacocks and enjoy a day out. In more recent years it's increasingly become a foodie destination; their own kitchen garden provides the ingredients for many of the fresh, home-made produce and delicious lunches served in the Old Kitchen Coffee Shop.
They're one of my favourite clients to work with, and I'm pleased to say I've managed to twist their arm into sharing the recipe for one of their famous scones with us. Have a go at making it yourself, or visit Scone Palace this summer to enjoy a wee scone on the lawn!
1. Re-heat your oven to 210 °C and lightly grease a baking tray/sheet.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and flour using your fingertips until the butter is all mixed in. Add the fruit – coating it in the flour mixture will help the fruit to keep its shape without popping in the oven and then add the sugar.
3. Once all the fruit is combined, add 2/3 of your milk mix very gently with a wooden spoon. You’re looking to work the dough as little as possible, which will ensure light and fluffy scones.
4. If the mix looks too dry, add some more milk – you want a mixture that doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl but forms a nice floury lump in the middle.
5. Tip your scone mixture onto a floured worktop/board and very lightly, for the least amount of time possible, knead together for a few seconds until it forms a round. Press down or use a rolling pin gently till you reach a consistent thickness of about 4cm.
6. Using a round cutter, or the rim of a small teacup or jar, whichever you have, cut as many circles from the dough as you can. Gather up the scraps and bring together into another round that you can cut more scones from – placing the ones you’ve already cut onto your baking tray a good few centimetres apart.
7. Using the egg wash and either a pastry brush or your fingertips, brush the tops of your scones with the egg – this’ll give a nice rich shiny top to your scones. Try not to let the egg mixture run down the sides of your scones, or it’ll seal the edges and stop them rising all the way round, meaning you’ll get a wonky scone.
8. Bake for about 12–15 minutes. To test if they’re done, identify the wonkiest/most misshapen scone you have on your tray, remove it from the oven and cut open to check whether its cooked all the way through. If not, pop them all back in the oven for a minute.
9. Once cooked through serve and enjoy! We love ours cut in half and laden with cream and our tasty homemade jam.