No high tea is complete without scones

Louise Liebenberg

IT’S been ages since I last rustled up a batch of scones, but this past week there were two very clear signs that it was high time for this favourite high tea treat.

First up was a visit to Vilia Offerman’s Richmond Hill home, where her large collection of tiny teapots have inspired a fun exhibition she and a friend, Louise Eksteen, are having at the Alliance Francaise next weekend.

Next, I spent a morning at landmark Port Elizabeth tea garden Apron Strings, where Ronnie and Nanette Bird have been serving huge fluffy scones for more than 20 years, as did the Millses for another 20 years before them.

Both visits gave me a good reason to dig out my own favourite scone recipe from The Global Table archives.

This recipe was my late mother-in-law Maria-Rosa Meyer’s and every time I make it, I remember her wisdom and her gentle nature, and how much we all used to enjoy teatime together.

This recipe makes six to eight scones, depending on how big you want them. Try not to handle the dough too much and do use butter, not margarine, as they really are better with the real thing.

SCONES

Ingredients

2 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

A little milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix dry ingredients together, and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add eggs and enough milk (2-3 Tbsp) to make a firm but moist dough.

Place on a floured surface, flatten out a bit and press out shapes with a cookie cutter of whichever size you prefer.

Pack onto a greased baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven at 200°C for 10 minutes, then turn down to 180°C for another five minutes.

Remove and cool. Serve with butter, jam and thick cream.

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