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My friend Oisin makes these divine scones. He uses a very light Italian flour, but you can use plain flour if you wish. Makes 10-12 scones.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and salt into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix well.
Set aside about a third of the beaten egg and combine the rest with the buttermilk, then add to the flour mixture and mix briefly to combine into a moist dough. Place on a lightly floured work surface and knead ever so slightly to bring together, then press or roll out to a thickness of 2cm (3/4in).
Using the cutter (6cm (2 ½ in) cutter), cut out approximately 12 scones and place on a floury baking tray. Add about a teaspoon or so of buttermilk to the remainder of the beaten egg to make an egg wash.
Brush the scones with the egg wash (and dip the tops in sugar if you wish) and bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes or until golden brown on top. Eat as soon as possible!
Cinnamon: Add 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to the flour.
Orange: Add the finely grated zest of 1 orange to the flour.
Chocolate chip: Add 100g (31/2oz) of dark or milk chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) to the dry ingredients before you add the liquid.
Sultana or raisin: Add 100g (31/2oz) of sultanas or raisins to the dry ingredients before you add the liquid. I also sometimes add 100g (31/2oz) dried cranberries or dried blueberries instead of the sultanas.
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