Melbourne’s respected baker with a penchant for tradition once read beetroot blinis with smoked salmon were served at the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William – and thus, a vibrant take on the bakery classic was born.
Piping hot, wonderfully fluffy and light scones with a good dollop of jam and cream have comforted us through the ages. Brilliant in their simplicity, scones personify everything Phillippa is about: uncomplicated ingredients handled with love.
“We insist on using good quality butter rather than margarine, and in this recipe we’ve used freshly juiced beetroot juice, which can also be bought directly from an organic juice bar,” Phillippa says.
“I’m also a big advocate for using full cream unhomoginsed milk.
“As Gabriel Gate once said, you need to try a recipe up to four times to get it right, especially when attempting a challenging technique. That’s why I suggest those who haven’t perfected scones to attempt a Lemonade scone. It’s practically foolproof, and I like bakers to have an easy win to build their confidence.
“The more traditional scone recipe, which we’ve done here, requires a little more skill in rubbing in the butter. But both require caution to not over-handle the dough.
“The sweetness of the currants marries surprisingly well with smoked salmon in this recipe. They are equally delicious served simply with butter.
“And who doesn’t recognise how effective the colour of beetroot can be?”
Beetroot Currant Scone
WHAT YOU NEED
300g self raising flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
30g cold butter cut into small cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten
85ml fresh beetroot juice
Full cream milk for brushing
Smoked salmon, chives, cream cheese (for serving)
What to do
1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan forced
2. Line a baking tray with baking paper
3. Into a bowl place the flour, salt and sugar
4. Blend well together using a whisk
5. Add butter and rub in with finger tips Make a well in the centre, Add the egg, currants and beetroot juice and mix with a wooden spoon until just blended but without over-mixing. The dough should be moist and quite sticky. If the mixture seems a little dry, 1-2 tablespoons of milk can be added
6. Use well-floured hands to turn the dough out onto a well floured surface
7. Gently form into a ball, flatten with your hands to a 2.5cm thick circle.
8. Using a 4cm round cutter, cut the dough into 16 circle. For large scones, use a knife to cut into 8 wedges (like a cake)
9. Place scones on the tray, 4cm apart, brush with a little milk
10. Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden on top
11. Serve with cream cheese, chives and smoked salmon