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Date Scones

Classic Date Scones with a hint of orange, perfect with a cup of tea. Recipe with step-by-step photos.

Ingredients

For the Scones

For the Egg Wash

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F) (without fan).
  2. Place a baking tray in the middle shelf of the oven to warm up while you are making the scones.
  3. Place the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and mixed spice into the bowl of a KitchenAid or stand mixer.
  4. Add the butter and lard (or vegetable shortening), and briefly mix with the flat paddle attachment until the mixture resembles damp sand. Alternatively, you can do this by hand by simply rubbing the fats into the flour with your fingertips.
  5. Add the chopped dates.
  6. Finely zest the orange into the milk.
  7. Slowly add the milk and quickly mix everything together. You may not need all of the milk – just add enough milk until the mixture just comes together into a rough dough. Try not to overwork the dough as this may lead to tough scones later.
  8. Place the dough onto a floured work surface and pat it into a rectangle or circle shape about 3 cm (1 inch) high.
  9. Cut your scones with a round cutter. You could also use a teacup or small glass to shape your scones. Dip the cutter into some flour to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
  10. You can make the scones as little or as big as you like, adjusting the baking time accordingly. I use a 6 cm (2.5 inch) crinkle-edged cookie cutter to make fairly small scones.
  11. Lightly re-shape the dough as necessary, but try to handle the dough as little as possible.
  12. Arrange the scones closely together on a baking tray.
  13. Make an egg wash by lightly beating together the egg and milk.
  14. Brush the scones with some egg-wash.
  15. Bake the scones in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (depending on size), or until they are lovely and golden.
  16. You may need to test a scone to make sure that it is fully cooked through in the centre. A digital thermometer inserted in the centre of a scone should read about 85°C (185°F).
  17. These scones are best served hot or warm, but they are also lovely served at room temperature.
  18. Serve the scones with butter or clotted cream.
  19. To stop the scones from developing a hard crust as they cool, cover the warm scones with a clean tea towel. The steam trapped under the tea towel will help to keep the scones soft.

Kitchen Notes

USING FROZEN BUTTER
You can use frozen butter in this recipe and simply grate it into the dry ingredients.

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.