We returned to our house by the sea in Naxos after several years – this time with an extra member. We had to come up with a new eating-and-cooking routine, given also the fact that we entertained friends almost daily (or nightly). It had to be easy, fast and secure: cheese pies, scones, chocolate cakes, tzatziki, salads and of course lots of local cheese, figs and watermelons.
For drinks Greek white wines (asyrtiko for the French friends who value terroire) and gin with tonic and lots of ice cubes. Whenever we ran out of cucumbers for the mix, because we put them all in the salad, we used watermelon – they both belong to the cucurbitaceae family.
We unpacked kitchenware and put the old stove into use, so we had to adjust cooking and baking times and temperatures.
Scones were a success for breakfast, and we had them -unconventionally- with some local cheese (graviera and xinotyri) or with our homemade apricot jam. Here is our standard scone recipe, adapted from the cookbook of Rose Carrarini, Breakfast Lunch Tea.
Makes about 12 scones
- 500g all purpose flour
- 1 handful cornmeal or wholemeal flour
- 2 very heaped Tbsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 300ml milk
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 200ºC and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Sift the all purpose flour into a bowl and add the cornmeal or wholemeal flour, the baking powder, sugar and salt. Then add the butter and mix with your hands (or an electric hand mixer) until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the middle, pour in the milk and combine it quickly with a fork (or an electric hand mixer) until dough forms. Finish by hand but without overworking the mixture. The dough must not be sticky. Add some milk if it is too dry or some flour if it is too wet.
On a lightly floured surface pat the dough into a round about 3cm thick. Take a 5cm cutter and dip it into some flour.Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. By this point you’ll probably need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four. Repeat until all the dough is used. Brush the tops with beaten egg, then carefully place onto the baking tray.
Bake for about 12 minutes until lightly golden.
Serve warm or at room temperature with jam and butter or clotted cream.