Thursday, 12 August 2021

Aussie-style Rustic Date Scones

Scones, freshly cooked and served still warm from the oven, with lashings of butter, jam and cream, are one of my favourite treats. Scones shouldn't be fussy to make. They need to be mixed quickly, baked quickly and then enjoyed. These scones only need to be eaten with a good quality butter to be enjoyed, however if jam is your jam and you have a sweet tooth then by all means eat them with jam and cream. They are at their best straight out of the oven, and are crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside and full of dates. As I took these out of the oven, I had visions of them being baked on an Australian sheep property for the shearer's smoko, or on a cattle property out west, and then seeing them devoured in one sitting by everyone. I cooked these in time for brunch this morning, I ate one, MR. HRK ate ??, well let's just say he ate more than me. Delicious with a cuppa.

Those of us living in the Anglo-Saxon world love to cook with semi-dried dates, and I tend to cook mainly date slices, date loaves, sticky date puddings, and scones, as I just don't have access to the wonderful selection of fresh dates available in the Middle Eastern World although they can be found at some  fruit and vegetable shops and IGAs. It is so easy to grab a packet of dates from the supermarket shelves as we whizz past with our trolleys,  the best quality dates available at our supermarkets being the Medjool dates. However to be economical which is important at times when making puddings or scones for a family, most semi-dried dates with stones removed will do. Date palms are still treated reverently in the Middle East, as dates have been an essential food for thousands of years for the Arab people. Dates have a high sugar content, and are often used in recipes to replace sugar, however in this recipe I use both, with a minimal amount of sugar. Certainly for those people now in lockdown who enjoy cooking, semi-dried dates are wonderful to have on hand for a variety of dishes, and will last for months stored in an air-tight container. Unfortunately they are not that great to snack on.

This recipe is my contribution to International Scone Week, hosted by Tandy of Lavender and Lime. #ISW2021 was started in 2011 by the lovely Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, and is now maintained by Tandy.

This recipe is based on one from Katherine de Pury at Yeringberg vineyard at Coldstream in Victoria's Yarra Valley.

Ingredients:

(Makes 10 scones)

 250 g self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of salt

20 g chilled butter

2 tablespoons caster sugar

250 g dates, stones and chopped

3 tablespoons buttermilk (Add a little more if you need to.)

3 tablespoons water

Freshly grated nutmeg, so very aromatic

Method:

Preheat your oven to 210 deg. C. and grease a baking tray. Dust with flour.

Sift the SR flour, grated nutmeg and salt together, then rub in the butter.

Add the sugar and the dates.

Combine the buttermilk and the water and add into the flour with a knife which will create a a soft but firm dough.

Knead this mixture together quickly, then press out onto a floured bench and cut into squares. Mine will be cut into squares next time, instead of rectangles, however they still taste the same regardless.

Bake for 7 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180 deg. C and leave them to cook a further 8 minutes until golden.

Happy International Scone Week.

Check out my other Aussie Damper scones which are also delicious, and without the fruit.

Warm wishes,

Pauline






12 comments:

  1. Scones are our all time favourite, either for breakfast or afternoon snack. These sound and look really great loaded with dates!

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    1. Thanks so much Angie, I even enjoyed them for brunch, but they would be nice for brekkie as well.

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  2. Thanks for being a part of ISW! I have Medjool dates in my fridge which need using up, and this seems like the perfect recipe for them :)

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    1. I hope you like the recipe Tandy, perfect for Medjool dates, thanks for your comment.

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  3. Pauline they look fantastic! I wouldn’t make them though as I would eat the lot. No willpower at all 😳

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    1. Hi Chel, It's great to hear from you again, I was getting a bit worried about you. They are fairly filling really, although delicious, so I find one is enough.Take care, Pauline

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  4. i have to be honest and say i don't like dates but i do like scones. so you could change up the dates for sultanas etc...

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    1. Thanks Sherry, I think it is very versatile and other dried fruits would also work well.

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  5. I love dates, and they are original specialty here in the Arizona desert. I’ve never seen a scone shape like that, before, but I look forward to trying them!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your reply, perhaps I should have called them date bars, but it's a date scone recipe ha, ha, and next time they will be squares or round. Nevertheless, any shape is ok as they are delicious.

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  6. I love scones fresh warm with strawberry jam. I was a nurse and I once looked after a nun whose parents had been shearing cooks. She told me their recipe for pumpkin scones. Too easy
    Can of pumpkin soup then add SR flour to get the dough consistency. That's all, I have added cumin for a savoury taste. Cheese is also nice.
    Cheers

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    Replies
    1. Bernie I love that story about the pummpkin scones, and why wouldn't it work. I think I will give it a try, after all sugar and cream is all I add to my sweet scones. Those outback cooks had lots of tricks up their sleeves for large scale cooking. My son in law is a cardiac nurse, very worthwhile profession. Great to hear from you.

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