Monday, 16 April 2012

Orange Drop Scones

Recipe Number One Hundred & Eighty Four:  Page 327.

As I creep ever closer to the end of this challenge the choice is becoming increasingly limited. I am running out of recipes! I spent ages flicking through the butter smudged pages of my Baking Bible. After a busy few days I felt keen to find something quick and easy to prepare. Finally I settled on this straightforward recipe for Orange Drop Scones and, as luck would have it, we already had all the required ingredients. There was no need to make a special trip to the shops, yay!

Before I made the drop scones we spent the morning visiting a working mill. It was a delightful setting. We watched peacocks strutting their stuff outside the coffee shop and we tried to feed the over fed fish and ducks! Isaac was mesmerised by the revolving water wheel and was repeatedly drawn back to it. It was certainly the highlight of the outing! After a while the rain began to fall; this signalled that it was time to head back to the shelter of the car.

Once back at my parents’ house a reviving mug of tea was required. I hoped it would help to recharge my batteries. Eventually I managed to heave myself from the comfort of the sofa and pottered into the kitchen. My first job was to grate the zest from the two oranges. It turned out that they were both past their best and very squidgy. When I came to extracting the juice the flesh turned into a pulp! I poured the suspect juice into a measuring jug and topped it up to the required amount with milk. Orange juice combined with milk doesn't look very appetising; it appeared that I was trying to concoct a batch of penicillin!!!

The next task was to find a mixing bowl, weigh in some self-raising flour and then tip in the mushy orange zest. I weighed out a fairly small quantity of caster sugar before reaching for a wooden spoon. I needed to make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and drop in a single egg. Next it was the turn of the combined orangey milk. During the passing minutes it had developed a curdled appearance; I just about managed to control my gag reflex as I poured half into the bowl!! Using the wooden spoon I gave the mixture a good beating. It was very lumpy, so I had to resort to the assistance of a balloon whisk. This did the trick. Mary says, once the mixture is smooth, to beat in enough of the remaining orangey milk to create a thick creamy consistency. My mixture remained resolutely thick and I had to add a few extra drops of milk.

I set a large frying pan onto the hob and greased it with a thin layer of oil. When the pan was nice and hot I collected dessertspoonfuls of mixture and then dropped them into the pan. Quickly, tiny little bubbles appeared on the surface of each drop scone. This signalled that it was time to flip them over. This proved to be either easy-peasy or extremely fiddly. Three or four managed to fold in half and some stuck to the pan but, for the most part, they behaved beautifully!

Mary makes it perfectly clear that these little scones are to be eaten as soon as they have exited the pan. I tried my best not to dawdle! I served several onto a plate and quickly heaped golden syrup on top. It is suggested that butter should also be included but I didn't think it would be necessary. My mum had the first batch while I got on with making the second. As I brought in a plate of slightly burnt scones for my sister, my mum was quick to tell me how much she had enjoyed hers; apparently they were utterly delicious! Neil and Dad had the next batches and then it was my turn. Mine lasted all of about ten seconds. They were much too easy to eat! They were light and fluffy in texture and the orange flavour really shone through. The uncooked mixture may not have looked very tasty but the scones themselves were wonderful. I had hoped that they might have risen more whilst cooking, but all in all I was pleased with the outcome. Isaac really enjoyed his little scone, so I feel sure that I shall be making them again soon!
They might not look very exciting but they were very moreish!

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