|Orange and armagnac scones|
|Ideal as a Christmas Eve treat|
5 tablespoons of armagnac
10 tablespoons of raisins
the zest of two large Valencian oranges
235g plain flour
55g unsalted butter
35g muscovado sugar (caster is fine but muscovado gives a toffee-like flavour)
a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
milk (at least 120 ml)
a beaten egg
The night before you want* (*aim) to eat the scones, leave the raisins to soak in a cup of armagnac.
The following day, preheat a fan oven to 200°C and grease a baking sheet with a knob of salted butter.
In a reasonably sized bowl, rub together the flour and butter until you have a crumble like mixture.
Mix the sugar and the zest into the flour/butter.
Take the raisins out of the armagnac and gently pat dry- you don't want to squeeze out all of the juice, but you want to get rid of most of it.
Stir the raisins into the mixture, and once thoroughly combined, add the milk slowly.
Whilst you add the milk, continue mixing the scone dough. I use my hands, but its fine to use a spoon.
You want to achieve a soft dough and slightly sticky dough.
On a floured surface, gently tip out the scone mixture.
Roll the dough to an even thickness and use the cutters to press out shapes. Circle cutters are traditionally used, but for a minimalist scone I would suggest square cutters.
On your buttered tray, lay your scone shapes evenly spaced.
Brush your scones with the beaten egg, and bake in the oven for about 14 minutes- or until they have risen and the tops are golden.
Serve warm with marmalade and cream.
change the unsalted butter and raisins for salted butter, and served with an espresso chantilly
swap the raisins and sugar for manchego and rosemary