• 50g sultanas/raisins
  • 50g cranberries
  • 20mls Armagnac brandy
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g cold butter
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • Zest of one tangerine
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 150mls whole milk
  • 10mls lemon juice
  • A handful of flaked almonds
  • Extra flour for rolling and cutting
  • 1 beaten egg for glazing

Do you make words up? I do. I call my eldest son ‘Choppington’ and my youngest son ‘Mick-Mack-Moo’ and they crawl about together at bath time doing something I call ‘ruggling’ whilst I sing a slightly abridged version of ‘Let’s Get ready to Rumble’ at them. They also do a lot of ‘scrunching’. We all forget that people from outside Bell Towers know nothing of this language and so often receive quizzical looks when out, ruggling and scrunching about as we do.

So in our house scones are called ‘tassels’ – yes, that’s right – a word that has nothing whatsoever to do with scoooownes or scons or however else you say them. We have bypassed the problem of whether to elongate our vowels by making up a completely original word for them. Well, I say we, when actually it was one of my sons who re-named them. You can use it too if you like, if it helps with the whole scoooownes/scons debate.

Makes: 9 or 10 depending on the size of your cutter

Ingredients:

  • 50g sultanas/raisins
  • 50g cranberries
  • 20mls Armagnac brandy (or any old brandy frankly)
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g cold butter
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • Zest of one tangerine
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 150mls whole milk
  • 10mls lemon juice
  • A handful of flaked almonds
  • Extra flour for rolling and cutting
  • 1 beaten egg for glazing

Please note: This is an easy way to make scones with minimum time, though, I admit, maximum washing up.

Preheat the oven to Gas 7/220C. Heat the brandy and dried fruit in a small saucepan on a low heat until all the brandy has been absorbed into the fruit – takes a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool. Grind the cloves in a pestle and mortar or if you’re flash, a spice grinder. Add the nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon and give a little stir to combine. Pop this to one side. Take the milk and add the lemon juice, give it a good stir and set aside. This is what I call Almost Buttermilk. Set aside.

Pop the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt, sugar, zest, spices and butter into the food processor and pulse until you have a breadcrumb like consistency. Then tip the breadcrumb mixture into a large bowl, add the boozy dried fruit and add the milk mixture, use a blunt knife to combine, being careful not to over handle. Don’t knead the dough for example, this is not good.

Flour your work surface, pop the dough onto it and roll to about ¾ inch thick. Using a straight edged round cutter, dipped into flour to cut scones out (being careful not to twist the cutter)and place on a baking tray a scone’s width apart. If you try and squeeze them all onto one tray they will steam rather than bake so please don’t do this. Chewy, doughy scones, ergh.

Brush the top of the scones carefully with beaten egg, using a pastry brush, then add scattered almonds (or arrange them into a delightful flower display by pressing down gently,) then brush the almonds again with a little egg being careful not to let the wash dribble down onto the sides of the scones.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, cool a little on a wire rack and enjoy with orange zest spiked whipped cream or simple old butter.

NB: PLEASE be careful that your cloves are ground to a very fine powder. If you don’t do this these tassels scones will be distinctly dentisty in flavour. And a dentisty tassel is a terrible, terrible thing.

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