In our house, scones are our go-to tea party treat. Scones can be made as complex or as simple as you want, but we tend to stick with this quick and simple recipe that I can throw together at the drop of hat. Perfect for sudden play dates or suddenly whimsical afternoons when the girls start clamoring for hot tea and fine china. We usually omit dried fruits/berries from our scones because we prefer to use these as understated vehicles for clotted cream and homemade jam.
3 ½ cups self-rising flour, sifted to remove lumps
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup sugar
7 tablespoons cold butter
Approximately one cup of half-and-half or milk (better yet, use leftover cream from making clotted cream)
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Whisk together the self-rising flour, baking powder, and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut up the cold butter and add to the flour mixture. With your hands, crumble the butter into small pieces in the flour. Work quickly before the butter begins to melt. The mixture should be crumbly with no large lumps when you are finished.
Crack two of the eggs into a measuring cup, and pour in the half-and-half until the mixture reaches the 1¼ cup mark. Whisk together, then pour into the flour mixture. Carefully stir to combine with a rubber spatula until ingredients come together to form a sticky dough.
Carefully dump out onto a heavily floured work surface, and pat it out until is about one inch thick all over.
Using an approximately 2½ inch diameter biscuit cutter, cut out the scones and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Dip the cutter in flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the cutter.
Whisk the remaining egg thoroughly, and gently brush over the top of each scone.
Bake for 10 minutes, rotating halfway during baking time.
Remove, and allow to cool before serving. The scones should break apart into two halves when you gently pull and wiggle them apart.