This really is my grandmother’s recipe! As a matter of fact, I think it’s probably my great-grandmother’s recipe, with some modifications down the generations.
Scones are open to all kinds of modifications and variations. The ones I recently served the group had blueberries in them. I grew up thinking “datescones” was practically all one word, because my mother always made them with chopped dates. So, experiment with the fruit, or with no fruit. If I’m using dried fruit, I make sure the pieces are raisin-sized and that the fruit itself is fairly soft & moist. I don’t like to use frozen fruit because the ice cools the dough and the fruit is inevitably soft – resulting in fruit-colored scones. But otherwise, experiment!
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
2 eggs and a splash of milk
3/4-ish cup dried or fresh (not frozen!) fruit, raisin/blueberry sized pieces
Oven at 400
Mix dry ingredients together.
Cut butter into small chunks & add to flour mix. Using fingers, mix & squeeze butter into flour mixture until the largest butter pieces are smaller than peas.
Beat eggs with a spash of milk, add to flour mixture & stir lightly with a fork.
Shape into individual scones of equal size.
Bake at 400 until scones spring back when touched in center – how long depends on the size of the scones.
Too big a “splash” of milk will result in heavy scones. Use a small splash – the dough should need a light press to hold together into shaped scones, not wet enough that it sticks to your fingers or holds together firmly.
I have taken to preparing scone “mix” of the dry ingredients ahead of time and storing it in the freezer. Make sure to remove mix at least 45 minutes before you want to use it for best, then add fruit, eggs & milk. To make things super efficient, I sometimes make the mix in my stand mixer: mix the dry ingredients together then add the chunks of butter to the mixer & run at a low speed until the pieces are pea-sized & smaller. Sometimes this takes a while, but who cares – I clean up while the mixer is running. Divide into batches, mark & freeze.