Last spring, I co-hosted a big hanami (cherry blossom viewing) party at Hamamatsu Castle as part of an event committee I belonged to while living in Japan. Hanami parties are basically outdoor picnics with lots of food, lots of beer, and of course, lots of cherry blossoms. Typical food includes chips, peanuts, mochi, and other finger-food snacks that are easily available in conbini (convenience stores) and supermarkets. However, some of our friends brought some home-cooked dishes to share, including bruschetta that our Canadian friends brought, and delicious, freshly baked scones made by our friends from the UK.
Yesterday, I started feeling a little reverse homesickness for Japan and the friends I made there. With spring just around the corner, I realized this is the first spring where I won’t be hosting and attending hanami events all season long. No more visits to Kyoto. No more strolls through the castle park. There are a few cherry blossom trees within San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, but it’s not the same… 懐かしいなぁ…
To remedy this twinge of homesickness, I baked up a batch of Delia Smith’s Scones, the same recipe my friends used for the scones they brought last spring. I couldn’t find a digital scale in the kitchen, so I had to make do with roughly converted measurements. The recipe below makes five scones, which is just the right amount. I’ve read that scones taste best when enjoyed fresh out of the oven, and that if there are any leftover after baking, they should be stored in the freezer until ready to heat and eat.
Makes 5 scrumptious scones.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp butter, room temperature, diced into 1/4″ pieces
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsb milk (+ extra 1-2 tsp if needed)*
* Delia Online calls for buttermilk, while BigOven calls for milk. I substituted milk with just a few drops of white wine vinegar to act as buttermilk.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add butter. Lightly rub the butter into the flour using your fingers until the mixture looks bread crumbs.
- In a small bowl, beat egg together with 2 tablespoons of milk. Add to the rubbed-in mixture.
- Mix with a palette knife or spatula until it begins to come together. Then use your hands to finish mixing the dough. The dough should be soft, but not sticky, and should leave the sides of the bowl clean. If it is too dry, add a little more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Shape the dough into a round and place on a lightly floured surface. Lightly roll out the dough, making sure not to roll it out thinner than 1 inch tall.
- Use a 2 inch round cutter (I used a drinking glass!) to cut out the scones. Continue doing so until you are left with the trimmings, then bring these together to roll out and form the last scone.
- Places the scones on a lightly greased baking sheet (or baking sheet lined with parchment paper).
- Bake for 10-25 minutes at 425 degrees F.