Hot Cross Scones

. March, 2016
Photography by Claire Aldous .
Hot Cross Scones

As well as the distinctive cross on top, these delicious scones are packed with all the fabulous flavours of the traditional Easter bun but can be made in a fraction of the time. They're best served warm from the oven!

INGREDIENTS

3 cups plain flour
½ cup packed dark muscovado sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon ground mixed spice
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
80 grams cold butter**
¼ cup candied mixed peel, finely chopped
1 cup sultanas, roughly chopped
finely grated zest 1 large orange
2 eggs
1 cup milk
Crosses*
½ cup plain flour
⅓ cup water
Glaze
¼ cup smooth apricot jam, hot

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200°C fan bake

Crosses: Stir the flour and water together to make a thick but pipeable paste, adding a little more water if needed. Transfer to a small, strong ziplock plastic bag and set aside. 

Scones: Put all the dry ingredients (down to the butter) in a large bowl and combine well.

Grate in the cold butter then using your fingertips, rub it into the dry ingredients. Add the mixed peel, sultanas and orange zest and toss together.

Whisk the eggs and milk together, add to the flour mixture and bring together with a fork to make a soft dough. 

Tip onto a lightly floured bench and form into a rectangle about 4cm thick by 24cm long. Cut into 10 equal pieces and place on a lined baking tray, spacing them well apart.

With well-floured fingers, pat the sides of each scone to make a neat, high shape. Cut a tiny corner off the plastic bag and pipe a cross on each scone, letting it go down the sides of the scone as it will shrink back on baking. Snip off the paste with scissors. 

Bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with the apricot jam. Serve warm with lashings of good quality butter. Makes 10.

*Crosses: Stand the plastic bag in a glass and fold down the sides to make it easier to fill with the paste. 

**Cook's tip: Before grating the piece of butter, coat it in the flour mixture as this makes it easier to hold and keep coating it as you grate.