I don’t think anything sums up the British summer quite like a scone- fruit scones, plain scones, lavender scones (fancy). All my fellow UK dwellers will know that the past week was probably the British summer. Temperatures were in the high teens and early twenties, it rained only during the night, the evenings were mild and pleasant. The sky was the cerulean blue of dreams and the clouds were scattered across like sea foam. It cheered everybody up, and it was all very poetic.
But that was it.
That was summer. Come August, when children are off school and staycation season is upon us, it will rain. There’ll probably be a few floods in various parts of the country. Most, if not all, newspapers will refer to it as ‘a washout summer’. They’ll print front page pictures of a front bench MP standing outside a local gift shop in the west country with flood water coming up higher than his waders. The usefulness of flood defences will be called into question yet again and there’ll be uproar over the fact that the environment minister hasn’t done enough to help. It will be put down to global warming, and not the fact they keep building houses on floodplains. (Or it’ll be the EU’s fault, if we stay in, and it could’ve been solved with the EU, if we come out. But that’s a post for another day.)
Oh well- good old Blighty. If you can guarantee anything about British weather, it’s that it’ll never do what you think it will.
So it’s very essential to make the most of all things summer as and when it occurs. Hence the rolling out of barbeques up and down the country, the mass purchase of sun cream- and the abundance, in my house at least, of scones. Scones with clotted cream and jam, and a cup of tea in the garden.
Fed up with plain scones, and too adverse to sultanas, currants, and raisins, I wanted to try a twist on the classic scone, so I gave these coconut and summer fruit scones a go. I was not disappointed. I’ve spoken before about how there always seems to be desiccated coconut in the house, but it adds such a nice, nutty flavour to the scone, and the fruit adds a bit of sweetness so no extra sugar is needed. They’re also so quick and easy to make, so great if, like me, you have far too many exams to revise for but you just always need to bake something. Of course, you can swap the summer fruits to whatever else you want to try. I’m sure winter berry scones would taste just as nice, and would mean you can enjoy summery scones in the winter as well- always a winner!
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- 200g self-raising flour
- 25g desiccated coconut
- 50g cold butter
- 100ml semi-skimmed milk
- 50g frozen summer berries
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c/400°f/Gas mark 7. Dust a non-stick baking tray lightly with flour.
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the coconut. Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour and coconut using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Slowly pour in the milk and use a knife to mix it all together. You may not need all the milk at this point- just enough for the dough to just come together. Add the frozen berries and mix in lightly, and add a little more milk if the mixture becomes too dry.
- Tip out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until the dough just softens. Pat out into a circular shape, about 4cm thick, and use a fluted circle cutter to cut the scones out, as close together as possible. Gather together any offcuts and shape into similar sized circles. Brush with the beaten egg, then bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden all over and no longer doughy underneath.