A Southern Grace: scones, scones, and more scones!

June 9, 2016

scones, scones, and more scones!


If you think American scones are good, you are in for a treat when you discover Irish scones*!

*Disclaimer: The scones in this post should in no way be considered Irish scones or even a poor excuse for Irish scones.

When we visited a tiny town on the western coast called Dingle, we stayed in a wonderful guest house with the MOST amazing view of land and sea. The owner, a fine man named John, put out an impressive breakfast spread each morning, and his scones were among the highlights for me.

Scones are everywhere in Ireland, and most are good, but John's were absolutely wonderful. He was kind enough to give me his recipe, and though his were pretty much perfect (as they should be, after approximately 12,340 times making them!), this was my first attempt, and I pretty much blew it! He directs to hold back some of the liquid, and though I did that, I didn't hold back nearly enough. The texture of my scones was all wrong and they spread way too much in the oven, but I'm not deterred--I plan to try again ASAP! My scone cravings must be met!

For the record, as soon as I master these (stay tuned for a more appetizing batch)(I hope!), I don't ever plan to make (and might never even eat) a triangular, American-style scone again!

John's Fruit Scones
(printable recipe)
Makes about 3 dozen 2-inchers per John's recipe (1 dozen per mine)
  • 900 grams plain white flour (2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour)
  • Pinch of salt (Pinch of salt)
  • 50 to 100 grams caster sugar (2 tablespoons granulated sugar)
  • 3 heaped teaspoons baking powder (or 6 level teaspoons) (1 tablespoon baking powder)
  • 175 grams butter (2 ounces or 1/4 cup butter)
  • 3 eggs (1 egg)
  • 450 ml milk (2/3 cup milk)
  • Fistful of sultanas (or raisins)
  • Egg wash (some of the egg and milk mixture that you have left over)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C (475 degrees F).
Sieve all the dry ingredients together in a wide bowl.
Cut the butter into cubes. (John normally uses soft butter that mixes in very easily into the dry ingredients.)
Toss in the flour and rub in the butter.
Add in the sultanas.
Make a well in the centre.
Whisk the eggs and the milk and add to the dry ingredients (John does not add it all but leaves a little behind--if the mixture is still too dry then add more, and if you have any of the liquid left you can use it for the egg wash)(I should have left a LOT behind!) and mix to a soft dough.
Turn out onto a floured board.
Knead lightly just enough to shape into a round.
Roll out to about 2 cm (1 inch) thick and cut or stamp into scones.
Put on a baking sheet.
Brush the tops with egg wash.
Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top. (John normally takes them out of the oven and takes out the scone that is in the middle of the tray, then cuts it into two and checks out the centre--if it is cooked, he leaves the scones out, if the scone is not fully cooked in the middle and looks a little doughy then he would put them back into the oven for another two minutes and check again.)
Cool on a wire rack.

A real Irish scone:

One of our favorite memories of our trip is our ride along the Slea Head Drive. It takes you around the Dingle Peninsula and we found it to be extremely interesting and picturesque!

This is the Dunquin (Dún Chaoin) Pier, which lies at the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula, overlooking the Blasket Islands. John told us that ships used to dock here and haul their goods the 12 miles to the town of Dingle rather stop closer and risk being attacked. It was one of our best stops!

I'll leave you with this memorable (and undoubtedly accurate!) note placed inside the door of an outhouse near the Beehive Huts we visited:


Kate @ Framed Cooks said...

Scones are definitely one of the great joys (out of many) of visiting Ireland - land of my ancestors! Yours look scrumptious!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They look heavenly! I'd love to visit Ireland someday...



Marcela said...

oh.... the Scones sound delicious! I gotta give your recipe a try! Thanks for sharing!

~~louise~~ said...

I'm guessing here, but, I'm assuming you and your new hubby spent some time in Ireland for you Honeymoon? How wonderful!!!

Of course, I could be wrong or perhaps I missed the honeymoon post, lol...whatever the reason, Grace, it sounds like you had a wonderful time and cultivated a memorable friendship with your host. How kind of him to share a cherished recipe:)

And how nice of you to share it with us:) There is no doubt in my mind that you will one day perfect it to your liking, and yes, John's too...To me, they look delectable:)

Thank you so much for sharing, Grace...I've actually been the recipient of "real" Irish scones and have never been able to enjoy the American version since:)

Angie Schneider said...

They look literally melt-in-mouth and moreish!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love a proper scone! Not that there is anything wrong with an American style scone, but with the sweeter style you don't need the jam and clotted cream which is the whole point for me.

Toaster Oven Love said...

I'm just in love with how tender these scones look! Less sugar and no kneading, does it get any better really. Between the creamy eggs and these scones how did you eat anything but breakfast for every meal in Ireland? :)

Marjie said...

Hubby's ancestors left Dingle in 1843. It's a small world. Your outhouse sign is very funny, and doubtless accurate; I'm sure your vacation (honeymoon?) was wonderful.

John's scones look terrific. As soon as I'm over my current diet (in which I attempt to lose 7 pounds), I'll have to try these. I'm sure they will be a big hit with the Hungry Horde.

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Everything about Ireland sounds amazing Grace, love the scones and the sign about the sheep, too funny!

Królowa Karo said...

Beautiful view! I never try scones, so maybe it's time for it.

Barbara said...

When we visited Scotland and stayed at a country home, the chef asked what we wanted for breakfast. When I said scones, he was surprised. We don't eat those for breakfast, they're for tea! But he made them anyway. I ate scones all across England and Scotland.
Yours look light and delicious, Grace!

lisa is cooking said...

Love these photos from Ireland! And, the scones. Scone cravings will be serious now.

Beth said...

Love the photos of Ireland - and the scone looks so good! You'll enjoy perfecting that recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

SOunds like a fun (and tasty) trip! Funny sheep sign--I need one like that for my kitten!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

Scones are probably one of my favorite treats. I only have them when I go to tea houses which is a good thing because if I could make a good scone I would eat them all! Looks like I need to stop by your house soon! ;)

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

You are making me want to travel!
I've never been a huge fan of scones. I think maybe that is because I have never had a good one. Sure want to try one now :)

brenda wyatt said...

I feel sure this type scone is more like my grandmother's...thank you thank you! Yum yum