Bitter oranges are difficult to get hold of, but by using the classic aperitivo you bring their characteristic flavours to the ready-to-burst golden raisins, and your scones will take on a gorgeous orange colour. Eric suggests serving them with a fabulous French champagne jelly and cream.
Makes 16 | Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus overnight soaking | Cooking time: 10-12 minutes
225g (8oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp salt
25g (1oz) golden caster sugar
50g (1 ¾ oz) unsalted butter, diced
2 tsp orange blossom extract
125–150ml (4–5fl oz) buttermilk
4 tbsp milk
50g (1 ¾ oz) golden sultanas, soaked overnight in Aperol
beaten egg, to glaze
Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C)/400°F/gas mark 6. Line a baking sheet with
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, then stir in the salt and sugar. Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the orange blossom extract. Mix the buttermilk and milk together in a jug. Pour the buttermilk into the bowl, a little at a time, and gently mix together. Before the dough has completely come together, add the sultanas and combine to form a smooth, but slightly sticky dough. Do not overmix.
Turn the dough out on to a very lightly floured surface and knead briefly (3–4 times only) to remove the cracks, then roll out to 3cm (1 ¼ in) thick. Using a 5.5cm (2 ¼ in) diameter plain cookie cutter, stamp out 16 scones (see Tip below). Place on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with beaten egg.
Bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes until well risen and golden. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.
Dip the cutter into a bowl of flour before stamping out each scone, so the dough doesn’t stick to the cutter. Don’t twist the cutter when pressing out the scones – this will ensure they rise straight and tall when baking in the oven.
Recipe from: Eric Lanlard's Afternoon Tea, published by Mitchell Beazley www.octopusbooks.co.uk.