SCONES are a favourite with camp cooks. They are quick to prepare and bake and are ideally suited to the camp oven. Served straight out of the oven with jam and cream, they make a yummy mid-morning treat. I came across this recipe some time ago and, with the sweetness of dates and the added flavour of orange and golden syrup, it’s a nice change from the standard scone. They’re delicious when served with butter or topped with golden syrup.
Makes: 16 scones 2½ cups of pitted dates – chopped 1 cup of boiling water ¾ cup of fresh cream 3 tbsp of golden syrup 2 eggs – lightly beaten 1 orange – juice and finely grated zest 1 tsp vanilla extract 3½ cups of self-raising flour ¼ cup of milk – to glaze
Prep time: 15 mins (approx.)
Cooking: 20 mins (approx.) • Preheat oven or camp oven to 200°C. • Line a baking tray with baking paper. • Place the chopped dates into a bowl and pour in the boiling water. Set aside and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Then drain. • Heat cream and golden syrup until lukewarm (not too hot or you’ll cook the eggs). • Add the beaten eggs, orange zest, juice and vanilla, and whisk to combine. • Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
• Add the drained dates and cream mixture to the well. Mix with a knife until it forms soft dough (don’t overwork the dough). • Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and pat to form a 2.5 to 3cm-thick round shape. • Use a round cookie cutter, or cut the dough into about 16 squares. • Place the scones onto the prepared baking tray about 1cm apart and glaze with milk. • Bake for 15-18 mins or until golden and well-risen (timing will depend on the thickness of your scones). • If using your camp stove, place the scones in a lightly greased ovenproof dish (enamel dish or foil tray) and make sure you place the baking tray on a trivet and have coals top and bottom. Baking time will depend on the heat of the coals. • Serve warm and moist with topping of your choice (butter, cream, golden syrup, apricot jam or marmalade).
• You could replace cream with yoghurt, buttermilk, or a mix of cream and yoghurt. • If you don’t like dates, use sultanas. • To make the perfect scone: work the dough as little as possible or you will make it heavy; the fresher the flour, the better the scone; sift all the dry ingredients to aerate the flour; mix with a knife or a plastic scraper in a large mixing bowl; using buttermilk, sour milk (milk and vinegar), or sour cream helps lighten the mixture; and position the scones close together (so they are just touching) so they rise upwards, not outwards.
The Country Women’s Association (CWA) has some classic, oldfashioned recipes. You’ll find some wonderful recipes to try here: au.pinterest.com/cwarecipes