September 22, 2023

The Scone Controversy

Scones, a beloved British treat, have always been a topic of debate, especially when it comes to the age-old question of jam or cream first. John Whaite, a renowned cookery writer and TV presenter, sidesteps this debate and introduces a fresh take on the classic scone, pairing it with a cherry, anise, and sherry jam.

John Whaite’s scruffy scones with cherry, anise and sherry jam

Introducing the Scruffy Scone

Whaite’s version, dubbed the “scruffy scone,” is a delightful departure from the traditional. Instead of the usual rolling and cutting, these scones are simply balled up, giving them a rustic, rock cake-like appearance. The result? A scone that’s as delicious as it is unique.

Orange Scruffy Scones Recipe:

  • Ingredients:
    • 450g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
    • Zest and juice of 1 orange
    • 15g baking powder
    • ½ tsp fine salt
    • 80g caster sugar
    • 80g unsalted butter (room temperature)
    • 200-250g full-fat creme fraiche
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • Pearl sugar (optional for dusting)
    • Clotted cream (for serving)
  • Instructions:
    1. Combine flour, orange zest, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
    2. Rub in the butter to achieve a breadcrumb-like texture.
    3. Mix the orange juice with creme fraiche and blend with the dry ingredients.
    4. Knead the dough briefly on a lightly floured surface.
    5. Divide the dough into 10 portions, shape them into balls, and place them on a baking sheet.
    6. Glaze with an egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
    7. Bake at 200C for 15-17 minutes.

Cherry, Anise, and Sherry Jam

To complement the scruffy scones, Whaite introduces a jam that’s rich in cherry flavor, subtly enhanced by anise and sherry.

Jam Recipe:

  • Ingredients:
    • 400g fresh cherries
    • 70ml fino sherry
    • 2 star anise
    • 275g jam sugar
  • Instructions:
    1. Remove cherry stalks and pits.
    2. Combine cherries, sherry, and star anise in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
    3. Let the mixture infuse for an hour.
    4. Add jam sugar and boil until the mixture reaches 105C.
    5. Pour the hot jam into a sterilized jar and let it cool.

This delightful pairing of scruffy scones and cherry jam is sure to be a hit at any gathering, offering a fresh twist on a classic favorite.

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