Do British scones always contain raisins? Where can I find a “genuine” recipe? Those I’ve tried don’t do justice to “real” scones.
No, British scones do not always contain raisins; they are optional. Here is a recipe for Cream Tea Scones that appeared in the Canadian edition of The 1997 Old Farmer’s Almanac: 2 cups all-purpose flour; 2 tablespoons sugar; 1 tablespoon baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/2 cup butter; 1 egg; 2/3 cup milk or light cream. Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter. Beat the egg lightly, reserving a tablespoon for topping. Add milk to remaining egg, beat, and add to dry ingredients. Stir to make a soft dough, knead, and roll out on a lightly floured board. Cut into 2-1/2 inch rounds. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, and brush with reserved egg. Bake at 425 degrees F for 12 to 14 minutes. We should point out that our “all-purpose” flour is a little harder than the “plain” flour called for in traditional British recipes, which gives a slightly softer scone. A good substitute for plain flour is half all-purpose flour and half cake and pastry flour.