…..saying ‘I Love You,’ with scones & jam
If you can’t get camp with a heart shaped cutter on Valentine’s Day then when can you? And ok, don’t answer that…..
All those who say Valentine’s Day is “too commercial” can cease and desist with their killjoy manifesto.
It’s just a bit of fun. When a man is tired of heart-shaped scones & jam, then he is tired of life.
So roll out your roller and get baking in the name of love. Our amazing stitch-maester seamstress Jacquie has even parted with her top secret jam recipe……shhhh, tell no one!
Valentine’s Cranberry & Buttermilk Scones
This recipe is adapted from a BBC Good Food buttermilk scone recipe. The buttermilk gives the scones a lovely, indulgent, creamy texture. I use buttermilk a lot for making soda bread and it just has such a warm homely flavour. The cranberries are there mainly to look plump, red and romantic.
Heart shaped cutters are easy to come by, but we rather like this set, and they can be delivered in time for the big day – 6 Heart Shaped Cutters.
The scones must be served with lashings of Jacquie’s homemade jam.
Makes roughly 10-12
450g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp salt
100g cold butter, diced
85g golden caster sugar
zest of one orange
35g dried cranberries
284ml pot buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
splash of milk
Heat oven to 220C/gas 7. Grease a baking sheet.
Mix the sugar, flour and salt, then rub in the butter until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Toss the cranberries and zest together with a small amount of flour and stir into the mix.
Gently warm the buttermilk (don’t throw away the pot) and vanilla in a pan. Pour a small amount of the flour mix in a large bowl and combine with a small amount of the buttermilk, continue mixing gently with a knife, or pallete knife until all ingredients are combined and a dough has formed. Be careful not to overmix.
Tip onto a floured surface and lightly bring together with your hands a couple of times. Press out gently to about 4cm thick and cut hearts of dough with your cutter. Re-shape trimmings, until all the dough is used. Spread out on a lightly floured baking sheet or two.
Add a splash of milk into the buttermilk pot, then use to glaze the top of each scone. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden and well risen.
The following makes approximately 2.75kg of Jam.
2kg slightly under-ripe dry strawberries
1.35kg granulated sugar
2 whole lemons, juiced
butter, small lump
The day before, hull the strawberries and ensure they are clean. Place the strawberries in the preserving pan, pour the sugar over the strawberries and leave overnight. By morning, most of the sugar will have dissolved.
The next day place the pan on low heat to melt the remaining sugar. Keep stirring to a minimum to prevent breaking the fruit up. When the fruit has naturally broken up add the lemon juice. Let the strawberries and the lemon juice come to a slow boil. Once boiling leave for 8 minutes.
A little trick I use is when it comes to check it is ready is spoon a little out onto a chilled plate and allow it to cool. If it makes a crinkly skin it is ready. If it doesn’t boil for another 3-4 minutes and test again.
When the jam is ready, stir in a small lump of butter to disperse any scum on the jam. Once stirred, allow the jam to settle for 10 minutes. Whilst the jam settles, take the jars and warm in the oven for 5 minutes.
Once the jars are warmed and the jam has settled pour the jam into the jars. Seal with waxed discs and once cooled put the covers on and label jars with date the jam was made.
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