Friday, 11 January 2013

Apple and Sultana Buttermilk Scones

Light and fluffy and...low fat?!
This is my first post for a while - and indeed the first one this year! Christmas was fairly busy, milling around at my parent's house in the constant rain. Needless to say there was some extreme over-indulgence of the cheese/meat/chocolate/wine variety. Well, a new year and a new start! I am not going to even delude myself in to believing I could stick to a new year's resolution of less cake and or wine. I thought I would, instead, attempt a few bakes that were a little more kind to the waistline. First one? Scones! Not known for their slimming properties (epecially once laden with jam and lashings of clotted cream), I wanted to make them at least a little bit better for you - but without substitutes. Apple and sultanas meant less sugar, buttermilk is very low in fat and keeps them moist and I used less butter than usual. They turned out pretty well, I have to say! There's even some wholemeal flour snuck in, too. I don't have any cutters here, and the trick to getting well risen scones is to use something with a sharp edge - I resorted to a knife.
This makes 16 medium sized scones, weighing in at 175 kcal a piece with only 3g of saturated fat. Winner! 

400g plain flour
50g wholemeal flour
10g baking powder
5g bicarbinate of soda
pinch salt
85g cold butter, diced
50g sugar
100g sultanas
100g apple grated or diced fairly small
285ml buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 a lemon

- preheat the oven to gas mark 7 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Set aside.
- tip the flours, raising agents, salt and butter in to a bowl. Rub the butter in to the flour using your finger tips until there are no large lumps left.
- add the sugar and stir. Add in the fruits and zest and mix well, making sure everything is well coated in the flour.
- warm the buttermilk and vanilla in a small saucepan or in the microwave until just steaming. Add 1/3 of the flour to a large bowl, then some of the liquid. Mix well using a round-ended knife. Continue alternating and mixing until used up. 
- tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead very gently until you have dough. Flatten out with your palm to about 4-5cm thick and then cut using cutters or a very sharp knife (glasses/cups don't work as well).
- arrange on the baking tray leaving a little room to rise and bake for 10 minutes. Check, then return to the oven for another 3 minutes.
 -cool on a wire rack, split open and enjoy with butter, jam, cream - anything! 

The apple and sultana could even be part of your 5 a day!

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