Lovely South African recipe for Granny Smith’s famous apple scones

Ingredients
450g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
110g butter, chilled and diced
150g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
4 South African Granny Smith apples
Pinch of ground nutmeg or cinnamon
1 large egg
Approx. 280ml milk
Clotted cream, to serve

How to
Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6. Put a baking sheet into the oven to preheat (this helps to give your scones extra lift).

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 100g sugar.

Peel and core the apples, chop half of them and stir into the scone mixture. Slice the remaining apples thinly and put them into a saucepan with the remaining 50g sugar, a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon and 100ml water. Heat and simmer until tender – about 10 minutes.

Beat the egg in a measuring jug, then add milk to bring the liquid up to 300ml, mixing well. Add just enough to the rubbed-in mixture to make a soft (not sticky) dough – there will be some liquid left. Bring the dough together.

Knead the dough lightly on a floured work surface for a few moments. Wrap in cling film and chill for 10-15 minutes, though no longer, as you don’t want the dough to be icy cold and tricky to roll.

Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 3cm thick. Use a 5cm plain or fluted cutter to stamp out rounds. Gather any trimmings together, re-roll and cut out more scones.

Arrange the scones quickly onto the preheated baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining egg and milk mixture. Immediately transfer to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes towards the top of the oven, until well-risen and golden brown. Cool a little, then serve with the poached apples and clotted cream.

Cook’s tip:
Avoid twisting the cutter when stamping out the scones – just press it straight through the dough. This will help your scones to rise evenly.

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