Tea and scone?

lately my mind has been drifting towards all sorts of sweet and yummy things.
The weather is still sticky and a little muggy, but after the rain storm last week, the plants are looking happy and drinking tea has started to become a necessity.

A quick list at my list below informs me that berries and plums are in season (yippee!)
And nothing beats a good scone recipe with some fresh plum or strawberry jam...

After racking back and forth for a fab scone recipe, I found this one. Remember to combine the ingredients carefully, as you dont want to end up with baked rocks.

The french say to treat pastry as a "new bride". Just to confirm that, that means gently.
Scone
Makes 12 scones

450g (3 cups) self-raising flour
1 tbs caster sugar
80g butter, cubed, at room temperature
250mls (1 cup) milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Combine the self-raising flour and caster sugar in a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
I have found that room-temperature butter gives a better result than chilled butter in scones.
Add the milk all at once. Use a round- bladed knife to mix together using a cutting motion until evenly incorporated and the mixture begins to hold together.
Do not over mix.
The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it is a little dry, simply add a little more milk. Then bring dough together with your hands.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press lightly into a ball.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough until about 2cm thick. (Alternatively, you can flatten the dough with the palm of your hand). Then use a round 5cm pastry cutter to cut out the scones.
Do not twist the cutter as this will cause the scones to rise unevenly during cooking.
You can re-roll any scraps and cut more scones; however, these will be slightly less tender than the scones cut from the original dough and will rise less evenly.
Place about 1cm apart on a baking tray.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden and cooked through. The best way to tell if the scones are cooked is to tap the top of one with your fingertips - if it sounds hollow when tapped, they are ready. Alternatively, insert a skewer into a scone - if it comes out clean, they are ready.

Remove the scones from the oven and immediately wrap them in a clean tea towel. Wrapping the scones will keep them warm and will give them a soft crust. Serve warm with lashings of butter or with jam and whipped or thick cream.

Bachelor jam
(this makes a large amount, halving the amount is enough for about 2 medium jars... Halved amount in brackets)

1kg assorted berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries (500g)
500g sugar (250g)
2 tots brandy (1 tot)
Place berries and sugar in a pot, heat and stir. Bring to the boil slowly until all sugar is dissolved. Add brandy, bottle and leave to cool.

This is a very loose jam, it doesnt set to a gel, and is perfect to spread without the whole I -have- blobs- of- jam- everywhere- thing going on.

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