Irish scones aren't really all that sweet. In County Clare grandmother made them and we always had jam to put on them.They were like an American biscuit, with a bit of fruit, usually either raisins or sultanas. I made them here for a lady friend and she said they weren't scones. Then she took me to a bakery and gave me what they called an Orange Scone. It was a sweet bread with orange zest, and peel, and it had FROSTING!!! Can you believe it?!?! So, I modified my recipe. Now I make these American scones and everyone loves them. They're good, but I don't really think of them as scones.
4.5 tsp baking powder
.75 tsp creme of tarter
.25 C sugar
handful dried fruit or nuts
1.5 sticks cold butter
1 tbs extract to complement fruit
enough soured or buttermilk to make 1 cup
Mix all dry stuff together well (not the fruit yet)add the butter and cut in until at the coarse meal stage.
whip the wet stuff together add to the dry. now add the fruit. mix until all liquid has been absorbed by the dry goods. Turn out on a floured counter or table and knead 6-8 times. roll or pat to about 1/2 thickness. cut into wedges with a floured knife and bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 450 degrees F until slightly brown. remove from oven and enjoy.
some of the favourites here at the place are Orange-cranberry. Orange extract and chopped dried cranberries. Apple walnut has apples shredded into the dough and walnut extract. I still refuse to put frosting on them though. A man has to have standards.
Moms I know use their basic soda bread recipe and add some dried fruit, nuts, butter, sugar, egg (no Cream of Tarter and half your butter) and they might sub some cream, yogurt and sour cream for some of the buttermilk - what ever they have on hand. In Ireland today you can get glazed scones or frosted ones too or even covered in ganache - depends on the Mom or the baker! Irish foods of all kinds have been up-scaled, modernized and even deconstructed by a new age of well trained chefs, bakers and cooks. Irish dairy products are just so much better than they have in the States for some reason - it has to be the green grass.
Aren't scones just he best with jam in the morning?
We stopped by a WholeFoods a few years back just a few hours after returning from a trip to the UK. The Irish Soda Bread they were selling in the WFM tasted almost identical to the best scones we had found in the UK on that trip. I emailed WFM and told them they might consider shaping that bread dough as scones and selling them as such. Which they did for about a year. They were excellent. And no, not the Hostess-like glazed dense overy sweet triangles that are found everywhere from Starbucks to Great Harvests in the US.
Now you got me jonesin' for a wholemeal scone from Harrods FoodHall. Now those are good.
Food Hall wasn't the best place we went to or ate at in London but it was so close it wasn't hardly noticeable!