The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ Irish Scones
In the 70s Ina Garten worked in the office of Management & Budgets in The White House, then she discovered a speciality food store for sale in the Hamptons and bought it. After eighteen years of perfecting baguettes and chicken salad, the Barefoot Contessa had become hugely popular for its style and delicious food. Eighteen years later Ina sold the store to the manager and the chef and turned her hand to writing cookbooks. Now Ina has written twelve books, filmed fourteen years of television shows for Food Network and writes food columns for Martha Stewart Living, the Oprah magazine, and House Beautiful.
Here Ina shares her hugely popular Irish scones recipe:
• 800g plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
• 2 tablespoons baking powder
• 4 teaspoons salt
• 335g cold unsalted butter, diced
• 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
• 200g cold full cream
• 150g dried currants (optional)
• 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
• Clotted cream and strawberry jam, for serving
• Preheat the oven to 200°C.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 4 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix on the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Beat together the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low, quickly add them to the flour-and-butter mixture, combining just until blended. Toss the currants with 1 tablespoon flour, add them to the dough, and mix quickly to distribute the currants through the dough. The dough may be quite sticky.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead quickly to be sure it is well combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4‑inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into circles with a 3‑inch plain round cutter and place the circles on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Brush the tops of the dough with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. Serve warm with clotted cream and jam.