Scones with Foodsze's Quicky Strawberry Conserve

 
Scones have a special place in my heart as this was one of the first few things I learnt from my late Aunty Jane who often whipped these in no time at all and the aroma of scones baking in the oven is just so tantalizing. I actually do not have her recipe but it was more of observing how the chilled butter and milk is cut into the flour, how you must have a light touch to ensure a fluffy result; basically more about technique. But I recall her putting paprika, sultanas and cheddar cheese, so I followed suit. I’ve seen other recipes use lemonade or 7-Up instead of milk such that the fizziness of the carbonated drinks lends a light and fluffy texture to the scones.
 
One of the easiest and quickest tea-time treats to make, serve these scones with clotted cream or even dollops of double thick cream and your favourite fruit conserve. These are perfect for any lazy Sunday afternoon. Add a pot of full-bodied black tea (any of the Darjeeling, Ceylon or Assam variety), a cute jug of milk and a sugar-cube pot and voila! treat your friends to a session of oh-so-fancy Devonshire tea.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (375g)  Self-raising flour
55g chilled butter – cubed
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 1/4 cup cold buttermilk or fresh milk
1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
2 tablespoons sultanas
A little bit of grated tasty cheddar (optional for that extra bite)
pinch of salt
extra flour for dusting

Method
1. Preheat oven to 220C. Grease 2 baking trays and dust with a little plain flour.
2. Sift flour into a large bowl and rub in the chilled butter until it resembles bread crumbs.
3. Add the caster sugar, salt, sultanas, sweet paprika and grated cheese and briefly mix.
4. With a butter knife, make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Using the same knife, quickly stir the mixture ( in a cutting motion) until well incorporated.
5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. With your hands, shape dough into a round. Very very gently roll the the dough till 2 – 3cm in thickness. Alternatively if you are heavy handed, ditch the rolling pin and gently pat the dough to the mentioned thickness. 
6. With a 68mm cookie cutter (for bigger scones), cut scones and place on baking tray, making sure there’s adequate space between the scones.
7. Gather remaining dough gently each time and repeat cutting the scones out onto the tray.  

8. Dust scones with extra plain flour for that rustic look.
9. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
10. Cover baked scones with a tea towel to soften the crust.
11. Serve with strawberry conserve, your favourite jam and a dollop of double thick cream.
Makes about 12-14 scones.
 
Foodsze’s Quicky Strawberry Conserve
This will cover only about 6 scones.
250g punnet of strawberries
3 tablespoons of sugar (or to your liking)
 
Method
1. Place both ingredients in a pot and stir through, making sure strawberries are well coated with the sugar.
2. Stir over medium flame on stove

3. Continue stirring and cook for 20 minutes or until jam looks thick and glossy. (You may mash some of the fruit). Add a little water if you prefer it a bit runnier.

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