Romancing the scone

Mary Ellen’s Irish Scones


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter

1/3 cup plus 1 T caster sugar*

Grated zest of ½ of one medium orange

1/4 cup golden raisins

Approximately 1/2 cup whole milk. I didn’t have whole milk, so instead, I added some heavy cream to 2% milk and made my own. This made them super yummy! Make a little extra for brushing on top of the scones before baking.

Few drops of vanilla extract

Raw sugar for sprinkling (optional)

*Caster sugar is slightly finer than regular sugar. I took regular sugar and processed it in my mini-chopper for about 10 seconds to make my own caster sugar.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift 5 times – yes, 5 times!! Put flour mixture in food processor. It’s essential to use COLD butter and milk/cream! Cut butter into small pieces and pulse in food processor until just incorporated into the flour mixture. Add the sugar and orange zest. In whatever cup you measured your milk, put vanilla into the milk, then gradually add your milk/cream vanilla mixture to the flour mixture. Pulse ingredients until they start coming together and forming a dry dough. Note: this should be dry rather than sticky and wet, so you might not need the entire ½ cup of milk. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Add the raisins and knead dough just a few times until it sticks together and is no longer crumbling apart. Don’t overdo the kneading! Pat dough into a fat square. Using a floured rolling pin, lightly roll until it’s just about 1 inch thick. Take a large knife and lightly push against the edges to straighten them. Coat the knife in flour and cut square into equal thirds (strips). Cut each of the 3 strips into 5 triangles for a total of 15 small scones. Transfer each triangle to a prepared cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. They shouldn’t be touching. Dip a pastry brush in remaining milk/cream mixture and brush some over the top of the scones. Lightly sprinkle the tops with a little raw sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Best served warm. Can be served plain or with butter, clotted cream or your favorite jam!