Quercus and Lisa Save the Scones

For the past couple of months, I have been trying to make scones. Note the word trying. You might also remember Yoda’s pithy advice about trying.

But readers, try I did. I used one of Alton Brown’s recipes, and although my scones tasted good, they came out flat as a cookie (American for biscuit). This meant I couldn’t easily cut them in half and spread butter on them. And what is the use of making scones if you can’t cut them in half and spread something on them, whether it be butter, jam, or cream? None, as far as I could see.

But being persistent, I didn’t give up. After all, I reasoned, I have a light hand with biscuits (the American kind) and pie crust, and there seemed to be no good reason why I couldn’t make decent scones.

As I have come to do with so many things, I asked my blogging friends for guidance. Lisa, from arlingwords, suggested placing the scones closer together so that they would rise rather than spread. And the inimitable Quercus had three pieces of advice: Add more flour,Β  use a two-inch cutter, and make sure the dough is thick.

Yesterday, in another attempt to make good scones, I followed Lisa’sΒ  and Quercus’s suggestions. I am happy to report that I finally had success. My scones were light, they could be cut in half, and they were not too sweet but sweet enough.

My scones were square rather than round or triangular, but Quercus had assured me that shape didn’t matter.

Clif, undeterred by their square shape, pronounced the scones “pretty darned good,” which is Yankee for delicious and high praise indeed. After eating one, he hurried back for seconds.

Now that I have figured out how to make good scones, the time has come to make them for friends when they come over for tea or coffee.



51 thoughts on “Quercus and Lisa Save the Scones”

  1. Take it from a former Brit, you are doing fine! But be sure to track down some clotted cream to go on the jam (try Jolly Grub in Nashua)!>

      1. Any shape is fine. Tradition says round, but my wife used to make a pie tin full and cut wedges/ triangles! Butter, jam, cream matter more than shape. But you are right to work on thickness/rising. They’re meant to be light in texture. American biscuits are a good example.

      2. Thanks for the tips! The texture was light, even if the shape was more like an American biscuit. Maybe I should try cutting them in triangles, the way your wife does.

      1. We use a scone tray for baking them with the round shapes moulded into the tray. You fill the moulds with your scone mixture (we only make savoury ones e.g. with spelt flour, spinach, olive, roast tomato and feta), let them rise and bake in the oven et voila, a perfect set of round scones πŸ˜πŸ’– xxx

      2. That makes so much sense! I expect commercial bakers do the same thing. I have muffin tins, and the next time I make scones, I will try using them. Your savory scones sound delicious. I could have one right now.

  2. “inimitable Quercus” made me laugh. That’s perfect, as are your scones. I can tell just by looking. Bravo, you. Persistence is the key to many things.

  3. I agree about round scones. Use a scone cutter to get a neat shop. They shouldn’t spread. I found when I lived in Denmark, my scones were nowhere nearly as good as my scones back in Scotland or here in New Zealand. I have a theory it is something to do with the flour. Oh and you could make triangular scones too!

    1. Could be the flour! Anyway, my scone experiments will have to be put on hold until next January. Yikes, doesn’t that sound awful? But I need to finish writing my third book by Christmas. In April, the busy season for shows begins. I’ll stop listing things I have to do. Busy, busy. But I will keep your suggestions in mind.

  4. Your scones look delicious… well done! My scones improved when I put them close together as you had been told.. enjoy! πŸ‘πŸ‘

    1. Thanks, Kerry. I’ll give them a try sometime. My busy time is coming, which means I won’t be trying anything new for a while. Oh, the hectic little life of the indie writer. πŸ˜‰

  5. Woo hoo! Thanks for the credits! Those look scrumptious. I don’t think shape matters. I use a round cake pan–one of the ones for a layer cake and a glass the size I want the scones to be to cut them out. Keeping them thick is important. It looks as though you found the touch!

    1. And thanks for your advice. I have one more trick to try for scones in the hopes of making them round. The busy season will soon be upon me, and I won’t be able to experiment for quite a while. I will be making scones while the scones melt, so to speak. πŸ˜‰

  6. Oh, I hadn’t realised you were having problems… I always use Mrs Beeton’s recipe (let me know if you want it) and either lard or butter as the fat NEVER margarine. Don’t make the mixture too soft and sticky or they will never rise.
    Looks like you managed some that worked in the end, though.

  7. I’m glad you’ve got it mastered the scones enough to qualify for a ‘Pretty darned good’. That reminds me of ‘not too bad’ which is said (in a downbeat way) in response to any question about our wellbeing where I’m from. It means we are fine, even if it doesn’t sound like that. ‘So far so good’ is another one – we don’t want to tempt fate.

    1. One more little experiment to see if I can get round scones, and then that’s it. Yankees, which by rights are only from New England—especially Maine—are descended from English settlers. (Sorry, New York. Despite the name of your famous baseball team, you are not true Yankees.) No doubt that is where the Yankees’ downbeat ways came from. Lots of “not too bad” and “So far so good” here as well. Funny how cultural inheritance lingers.

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