Scones. That quintessential British teatime treat. I’ve been itching to whip up a batch for a while now. Actually, I’ve been in the mood to play with all sorts of English cookery, as of late. All thanks to Downton Abbey, I’m sure. Are you in the loop? Do you know yet about this awesome show? I hope so, because I’d hate to think of any of you missing out on such a joy of a good time. For those of you not yet in the know, let me fill you in. Downton Abbey is a Masterpiece Classics miniseries on PBS, a turn of the century drama centered around the sensationally entertaining lives of an aristocratic English family and their household staff. I am thoroughly addicted, absolutely hooked. So is Ben. So are my parents, and my sisters, and their husbands too. So is, I’m sure, just about everyone who’s ever watched even two minute’s worth. I think maybe, it’s officially the best television show ever made. Officially.
Now, don’t fret if you’re only just finding out about Downton. Season one can be streamed on Netflix, or you can download it from Amazon too. But you’ll want to get up to speed, and pretty quickly, because season two just started. (It airs on Sunday nights.) By the way, second season episodes are also available for streaming, on the show’s home page. And it won’t take all that long, relatively speaking, to catch yourself up – Season one is about eight hours total. Eight hours, that if you ask me, couldn’t be better spent. Honestly everybody, if you haven’t been watching already, get to it! You’re in for a real treat! (I am so excited for you!!)
Now, where were we again? Oh yes, scones! Nearly as delicious as the show that inspired me to make them, these English-style biscuits are a real treat, no matter on what side of the big pond you happen to live. A far cry from the dense, dry triangles so many of of us have come to expect from stateside scones, this recipe yields pure scone perfection. Crackly, golden brown, sugar-speckled tops. And moist, tender, crumbly insides. Heavily studded with sweet, chewy specks of golden raisin and candied orange. The basic scone formula comes from the Tartine Cookbook, and it’s the recipe I always turn to for scones. It’s just perfect, and I wouldn’t change a thing. At least not when it comes to the actual dough. One thing I do like to change is the bits and pieces of goodness that go in them. This time: Candied orange and golden raisins. Next time, who knows… Raspberries? Figs? Chocolate chips? They all sound good to me. No matter what you choose to tuck inside, I guarantee these scones will be the perfect thing to nibble on, perhaps alongside a cup of tea, as you settle into a comfy chair and tune in to what will hopefully be your new favorite TV show too. Enjoy!