Sophie lives on the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Her Gaelic lilt is so gentle that it is almost lost in the sound of the gale, but she suggests that the less the dough is handled the lighter the scones will be. Buttermilk or yoghurt lightens them still further and the dough should be patted out thickly as thin scones can become hard.
In Scotland these were served spread with whipped cream and then jam. In Devon I would use clotted cream — and it makes all the difference if the jam is home-made.
Whisk the egg into the buttermilk or yoghurt with a fork. Make a well in the flour mixture, add the liquid and stir with a fork to form a soft dough. Butter a large baking sheet very lightly indeed and place it on a shelf towards the top of the oven. With well-floured hands, gather the dough together and knead very lightly just until smooth. On a floured surface, press the dough out lightly with the palm of your hand, not less than
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.