I awoke on Saturday morning with a sinking feeling. It was cold, it was raining, it was grey. Usually I enjoy this kind of weather, as it is impossible to feel guilty staying holed up inside baking when it is so miserable out. However, Saturdays mean netball. Netball that takes place outdoors. To say the least I did not particularly feel like running around a slippery court, with hair pasted to my forehead, trying to not to jar my icy fingers on the ball. Does it sound like I have done numerous times in the past? Not fun.
Thankfully, by the time midday rolled around all games had been cancelled. So what better while away the wintery afternoon with than baking? I was in a ‘old-fashioned’ mood – I donned my headscarf and wished I had fifties housewife dress to dance around the kitchen in. I really must buy one, just for those kind of days. Scones were most definitely in order. And only the best kind would do – light and fluffy with crispy golden brown edges. Rather than settling for a standard round fruit scone (because fruit makes it seem so much healthier), I decided to jazz things up.
Behold pinwheel scones! Essentially a standard scone dough, using brown sugar instead of white for a slightly caramelised flavour, rolled around a fragrant fruity filling. (There’s nothing like a little alliteration to make food sound better!) The dates break down and ooze with sweetness – you could easily add more if you wanted to.
The perfect kind of food to eat snuggled up in bed with a good book.
This scone recipe dispels the myth that they can be temperamental little blighters. The main thing to remember is to handle the ingredients lightly – you want to retain as much air as possible. Be careful when slicing the pinwheels – if you press too hard, you run the risk of the scones rising skewwhiff. That may or may not have happened to a couple of mine – the price you pay for getting overexcited. Of course, you could always say that it was intentional, ‘rustic’ is the word I tend to use when things turn out not quite to plan. Or, you know, just eat the evidence!
Fruity Pinwheel Scones
Makes 12-15, depending on size of pinwheel.
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g butter, cut into small pieces
20g brown sugar
20g butter, melted
20g brown sugar
¼ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp lemon zest, grated
25g pitted dates, chopped
Cinnamon sugar to dust
Preheat oven to 220C. Grease a baking sheet with a smidge of butter.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt three times into a large bowl. Rub butter pieces in with fingertips, until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar. Brown sugar can be lumpy so make sure that you crush any lumps with the back of your spoon.
Gradually add milk (you may not need it all) and mix lightly with a fork. The mixture should come together to form a soft (but not sticky) dough.
Tip onto a well-floured surface and use your hands to lightly bring it together. Gently roll out to a rectangle 5mm thick. Brush with melted butter, then sprinkle over sugar, mixed spice and lemon zest. Finally, sprinkle with sultanas and chopped dates. Carefully roll up dough, from one of the longer sides, to form a firm log. You want to roll tightly enough to not have any gaps, yet you don’t want to squash the dough and expel the air. Using a large, sharp knife dipped in hot water, slice the log into 1 inch/2.5cm thick segments. Be careful to not squash the dough whilst cutting.
Place pinwheels cut side up, on the baking tray, leaving room for spreading. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown. Transfer on a wire rack to cool and dust with cinnamon sugar.
Serve with a little butter.
Source: A Taste Without Waste Original.