While I was resting on my sofa from oral surgery and unable to eat anything harder than a marshmellow, I watched America’s Test kitchen make what they called the authentic English currant scones. Since I have been to Europe, but never to England, I can’t say I have ever tasted authentic English currant scones, but I wanted to try. Today, I am making a recipe based on theirs that I hastily scribbled down as they flew through the list of ingredients. Since I may not have heard every single ingredient in the measurement they gave, I can’t claim exactness, but I do claim deliciousness.
While the procedure is a somewhat sticky affair that might cause panic in someone not used to working with sticky dough, hang in there with me because these lovely, crusty, fluffy biscuits are worth the horrible mess the baker might have to make in the kitchen. In the end, you will have a freezer full of lovely, English currant scones to serve (25 seconds in the microwave) any time you want.
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons (yes, tablespoons folks) Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
9 Tblsps chilled butter, cut into cubes
1 cup milk
3/4 cup currants
Set the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Take out two baking sheets and cover the bottom with parchment paper.
In a food processor, place the flour, baking powder salt and sugar. Cover the top and pulse 5 times to mix the dry ingredients together.
Remove the cover and add all the cold butter cubes. Put on the cover and pulse 20 times or until the mixture is powdery and there are no butter bits in the mixture.
In a medium bowl, pour a cup of milk. Break in the two eggs and whisk the mixture until it is well combined. Pour the mixture into the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture all comes together. It will make a batterlike dough.
The dough will be very sticky. Sprinkle it all over with flour and begin to knead it. As you knead you will have to keep sprinkling with flour, but use light sprinkles. You don’t want to make the dough heavy with extra flour. Knead the dough 20 times or until it is far less sticky and more springy, and you can easily roll it out.
Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a 9″ circle. It will roll out very quickly now that it is not as sticky and is more springy. Use a ruler to measure the circumference and make sure it is not bigger than 9″. Then measure the thickness and try to keep it at 1″. I squished in my circumference a bit to get my thickness up to an inch high.
I don’t have a biscuit cutter, so I used a juice glass dipped in flour to cut out my scones. I transferred the cut out scones to the baking sheet; however, sometimes my pancake turner stuck to the bottom of the scone, so I removed it, dipped it in flour and then tried again. If your scones are rolled out on parchment, I think cutting them with the biscuit or glass cutter and then ,with floured fingers, picking them up quickly and placing them on the parchment lined baking sheet works best.
Place the baking sheets now covered with scones in a hot 425° oven and bake them for ten to twelve minutes. I checked mine at ten minutes and they were not browned enough, but two more minutes and they looked perfect.
Remove the scones to a rack to cool.
Serve them warm if serving them at once; otherwise, place the rack in your freezer for 30 minutes. Then transfer the scones to plastic bags and take out what you want whenever the mood strikes for warm scones with butter and jam.