In Australia we call these SCONES and they are an old fashioned, economical, quick, favourite morning or afternoon tea. We tear them in half horizontally (or cut) and top each half with strawberry or raspberry jam & whipped cream. (I think the U.S. calls jam 'jelly'?) We serve them warm (and they freeze well for later use). The butter/shortening must be rubbed gently into the dry ingredients with your fingertips (or cut in with a knife) until it resembles 'airy' FINE breadcrumbs. Once the breadcrumb consistency is achieved, make a well in the centre and add all the milk at once...and the final mixture should be a LITTLE sticky not dry. We add sultanas or chopped dates for fruit scones, just serving warm with butter. Flour your hands and lightly but thoroughly knead the mixture on a floured surface. If the breadcrumb consistency isn't achieved, you risk ending up with a heavy, less palatable treat. Handle the mixture as little as possible, and don't roll it - gently flatten with your fingertips to about an inch high and use a floured, sharp circular cutter (or cut into wedges). It takes only 10 mins to prepare! Don't overbake...put into a hot oven for about 12-13 mins (after brushing with a little milk) and they're ready when the sides are slightly firm. Wrap them in a tea-towel to finish them off with a little steaming. You can also put them 1/2 inch apart on the tray so that they expand and join up - break them apart when cooked and they'll be fluffy on the outside too...
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In Australia we call these SCONES and they are an old fashioned, economical, quick, favourite...