Over the years, I've received the most unexpected homemade gifts through my job. There has been a handmade salami, an orchid arrangement and a few years ago, a dozen freshly baked date scones.
I'd had scones and a hot cup of tea at Connie's house once before, when I dropped in to record a story. It was the beginning of a long day and I was grateful for her hospitality.
Connie's scones have a surprise ingredient - thickened cream - which means you're not messing around with butter, making them quick to mix up. They make a great late Sunday lunch :)
Connie's date scones
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup thickened cream
1/4 cup milk, warmed
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius and line a tray with baking paper. Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl, add the chopped dates and then the cream. Use a knife to mix it through.
Add enough milk to make the mixture moist and turn it onto a floured board. Knead it gently, turning it a couple of times before shaping the dough into a rough square. Using a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it is about two centimetres thick. Cut out your scones - I don't own a scone cutter so use the opening of a small-ish glass - and place them on your tray. Pop them into the oven on the middle shelf and bake for around 10 minutes.
Makes 10 large scones.
And just a tip:
If you want to make plain scones just leave out the sugar and the dates. I've also halved Connie's original recipes, so you can double it easily if you'd like 20-plus scones. You can also substitute the dates for mixed fruit and if you wear rings, take them off before you start kneading, it's messy work!