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Nana’s Scones

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When people ask me what I miss most about Ireland, I never hesitate in my reply—my grandmother’s scones. I also miss Guinness and tea served at the right temperature (Guinness room temperature, tea boiling hot), spuds mashed to the right consistency (thick not creamy), and pants cut to fit me (and my big arse). Oh and of course I miss my family and friends too.

Seems as I can’t justify a weekly flight home for a batch of scones, I cajoled my grandmother to share her scone recipe—not an easy task, considering she uses hands not cups and her measurements are decided spontaneously based on what feels right. These scones are really quite good, just not as good as my Nana’s. Here’s hoping the recipe will evolve and improve when I’ve been making them every morning for over fifty years … like she has.

Note: Nana used to let thick, creamy milk straight from the cow sit in a plastic bucket until it went a little sour, but much experimentation on this end found that heavy cream from a carton works fine too … unless you happen to have a cow handy.


1-1/2 cups all-purpose white flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

6 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter

1/3 cup baking raisins

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Two large eggs, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose and wheat flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  3. Using a pastry blender or two knives scissor fashion, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the raisins, and mix well.
  4. Combine heavy cream, reserving 1 tablespoon and one beaten egg in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture. Stir.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Roll or pat the dough into a circle about 7 inches round and 1-1/2 inches thick.
  6. Lightly flour the rim of a glass and press into dough, making perfect rounds. Repeat until all dough is used. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Whisk egg and 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Brush egg mixture over scones.
  8. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

These scones are especially delicious when served warm with butter and jam.


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