Monday, 1 October 2012
School Holiday Date Scones
Dog tired, tuckered out, exhausted, run ragged: there are lots of ways to describe that end of the school term feeling. That last week with so many things to do, dead lines to meet, lots of little loose ends to tie up, all the while just trying to avoid the inevitable and obligatory dose of pre-holiday germs. Days have gone by since I have done anything even remotely interesting or creative. Time to emerge out of the post-school term mire with a little baking.
A couple of weeks back we stopped for a coffee at the lovely Addington Coffee Company where I tried one of their fabulous Date Scones. They were scones with a difference, out of the ordinary scones, with a delicious date filling. Without wanting to steal their thunder or impact the bottom line, I resolved to reproduce these little morsels at home.
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Milk - enough added to the egg to make up to 200ml of liquid
1 cup dates - cut in half
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water
a little milk and caster sugar to sprinkle on top
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Start by making the date filling: put the dates, zest, juice and water into a saucepan and simmer gently until the dates break up and a paste is formed when the mixture is stirred. Put aside to cool.
Sift the dry ingredients. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs. Mix the egg and milk together. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in the egg and milk. Gently mix until just combined. The mixture is quite soft and needs to be handled with care.
Do not over mix, knead or roll: it will make the scones hard and stodgy.
Turn the mixture out onto a floured piece of baking paper. Gently push out into a rectangular shape. Spread the cooled date mixture over half the scone dough. Flip the other half of the dough over (the baking paper makes that easier).
Cut into even shapes. Brush the scones with milk and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake at 200 deg. C for 10 to 12 minutes.
These make a lovely change from the more traditional date scone. The lemon zest cuts through the intense sweetness of the dates and the paste makes the scones really moist.
The texture of the scone is quite cake-like and soft.
If you happen to be in Addington it is well worth dropping into the Coffee Company for its great coffee, good food and laid back atmosphere.
Otherwise you can always make these lovely scones for your family and friends at home.