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  • Writer's pictureLéonie Kelsall

Winter means Baking!!! (plus my favourite recipes)

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

Actually, those who follow my Instagram or Facebook know that's a bit of a porky - I bake ALL the time...but Covid quarantine restrictions have had a surprising impact. While many people are posting about cooking more, the fact that my eldest child is almost four hours drive away, my middle one isolated interstate, and my parents dutifully practising self-isolation, I've had fewer places than usual to distribute my largesse. The neighbours did benefit, though, as it was apple season so there were pies and crumbles distributed. All of that was pretty much so I can use a picture of apple pie for this post because I don't have a photo of the star...SCONES! This Monday (8th June) I'm attending the lovely Maya Linnell's 'Cooking The Books ' house party. (While this is a virtual event, I totally intend to crash her guest house once restrictions lift, but perhaps we won't tell her that.) Maya is running a Masterclass in scone baking and, along with an array of fabulous authors I shall try not to fangirl all over, I'm invited to chat all things baking... and SCONES. You can all join the party or watch it at a later date - the link is on my events page. But, without further ado (said while quickly typing my longest-ever post, in the middle of starting the rose pruning!) here's my well-tested recipe for scones, and also for the Drop Scones that were not only a staple of my childhood but probably the first thing I taught my kids to cook... they are super quick and easy and perfect for after school.

Lee's Shearer's Scones

3 cups plain flour (triple sifted)

7 teaspoons baking powder (or you could just be smart and use SR flour to start with, but I generally don't have it in)

1 tspn nutmeg

1 tspn himalayan salt

1/4 cup castor sugar

1 generous cup sultanas

1 egg mixed with milk to make 1/2 cup total

1 cup cream (1/2 cream and 1/2 milk actually works super well. All milk instead of cream also works - I know, because I rarely have cream in, which is rather telling about my housekeeping practices! Scones made with all milk will be less fluffy, but still good.

Mix all dry ingredients, toss sultanas so they are coated in the flour (stops them from sinking). Add the wet stuff in a well in the middle and mix quickly with a flat-bladed knife.

Knead until smooth and pliant.

Roll out to 3cm thick and cut out with the top of a glass (don't want any of those poncy little lady-like scones, do we?) Place on a baking sheet. Glaze tops with beaten egg and milk mix (if you like them browned and a little crunchy)

Very hot oven about 220celsius for 10 minutes, then 180celsius for 10-20 minutes (depends if my oven door is sealing or not!)

Makes 16ish, less the two you need to eat as 'tasters'

** note I've now updated this recipe to be even more of a hybrid, which gives a higher, fluffier scone with all the extra taste of a shearer's scone.

Lee's Drop Scones 1 cup plain flour

2tspn baking powder (or, you know, that whole 'use SR flour' trick again!)

pinch himalayan salt

1/4 tspn bicarb

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 tspn vanilla essence

1tbsn melted butter

Sift flour, salt and soda. Add sugar. Mix vinegar and milk and pour into the flour. Add egg, vanilla, melted butter. Beat into a smooth, thick batter. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes.

Heat a flat frying pan (I find electric works well) or griddle and grease with butter. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING ALL HEALTHY ON ME AT THIS POINT BY SWAPPING TO SPRAY OR OIL!!!

Drop dessertspoons of batter onto griddle. Tip: if you use the spoon that ISN'T a soup spoon - you know the one, with the slightly-pointed tip? - and hold it so the batter drips straight onto the pan from that tip, you'll get perfectly round scones. But they all taste the same :-)

Cook until the surface bubbles.

Flip and lightly cook the other side.

Place in folded teatowel

IMPORTANT: Serve buttered!!

So, here's an apple pie pic as a placeholder until I make the scones in a couple of days. And also because, after years of being too chicken to try as my Gran was a brilliant pastry maker, I've discovered I CAN make pastry so I'm obviously going to take every opportunity to brag!

As a little extra, here are the links to the scone recipes used by the other authors on Cooking the Books!

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