It’s not hard to find a recipe for Raisin Scones and I’m sure there are some good ones and some bad ones floating around, but I can guarantee you that this is a really good recipe. I used this recipe for 7 years when I worked in a British tea shop and I got the personal approval of the owner’s British mom for my Raisin Scones.
How to make a great scone
As I’ve said before, I see lots of bad scones in coffee shops and bake shops. Most of the time they’re so light and sweet they’re closer to a muffin than a scone.
A good scone should neither be too biscuit-like nor too muffin-like. I also don’t like scones that are super rich or sweet since I like to serve them with toppings like Clotted Cream and Lemon Curd.
Authentic British Raisin Scones
As I mentioned in my post for Gingerbread Scones, my Raisin Scones are adapted from a recipe given to me by the tea shop owner’s British mother.
I made adjustments to the original recipe so it could work in a US kitchen with US ingredients and measurements. It’s been a long time and I can’t remember the exact changes I made. But I love these raisin scones and get great feedback from everyone who tastes them.
Tips for making Raisin Scones
- I use fresh buttermilk for this recipe. I don’t mind keeping buttermilk in the refrigerator since I use it all the time.
- If you don’t want to buy buttermilk, or can’t find it at your market, you can use powdered buttermilk instead. Follow the directions on the package to make the substitution.
- I like to mix scones by hand. Mixing by hand ensures that you won’t over mix the dough and form too much gluten.
- I just pat the dough out by hand instead of using a rolling pin. This also ensures that the dough won’t be over worked.
- As soon as you add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients, the baking powder is activated. To work ahead, mix the recipe until the point where you add the buttermilk. Later you can mix the dough, roll, cut and bake.
- Scones are best the day they are baked. Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 month. Defrost and then warm in the oven to get the best texture.
How to set up a full Afternoon Tea Party
To serve scones as part of a full afternoon tea here’s what you’ll need to do: For the first course serve dainty tea sandwiches, next serve the scones with clotted cream and lemon curd or raspberry preserves.
Afternoon Tea is a great theme for a bridal or baby shower, or for a weekend brunch party.
But don’t wait until you plan a tea party to make scones. They are quick enough to make for weekend breakfast. Top them with butter or a little jam for a perfect breakfast or snack.
If you love this recipe please consider giving it five stars.
- 5 cups (22.5oz, 630g) unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) granulated sugar
- 1.5 sticks (6oz, 168g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1" chunks
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups (14oz, 420ml) buttermilk, plus more for brushing
- 3/4 cup (4 oz, 112g) raisins
- Demerarra Sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Toss in butter chunks. Mix in the butter until the bits are the size of a pea.
- Whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients all at once and mix until just barely combined. Some loose flour may remain at the bottom of the bowl. DON'T OVER MIX.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface, sprinkle the raisins over the dough and finish kneading by hand just until all the loose flour is absorbed. Use your hands to pat the dough until it is 3/4"-1" thick (you can also use a rolling pin if you prefer). Use a 2.5" biscuit cutter to cut scones. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until all the dough is used.
- Line the scones onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1" space between. Brush the tops of the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with Demerarra or granulated sugar.
- Bake on the middle racks of the oven, flipping the trays after 10 minutes (see note).
- The scones are ready when they are golden brown and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped. Total baking time 15-20 minutes.
If the bottoms of the scones are browning very fast you can slide another sheet pan under the pan half way through baking.
To make ahead you can bake and freeze the scones. Defrost and warm in the oven to serve.
SACO Pantry Cultured Buttermilk Blend, for Cooking and Baking, Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, 12oz, Pack of 2
Silpat Premium Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, Half Sheet Size, 11-5/8" x 16-1/2"
Reynolds Kitchens Cookie Baking Parchment Paper Sheets (SmartGrid, Non-Stick, 22 Sheets)
Homy Feel Round Cookie Biscuit Cutter Set 12 Circle Pastry Donut Doughnut Cutter Set Round Cookie Cutters Circle Baking Metal Ring Molds
Vollrath (5303) Wear-Ever Half-Size Sheet Pans, Set of 2 (18-Inch x 13-Inch x 1-Inch, Aluminum)
Royal Industries (ROY PST BR P 200) - 2" Nylon Bristle Pastry Brush
Demerara Baking Sugar, 16 Oz, 16 Oz
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