Friday, September 08, 2006


Scones. very English indeed. scones are served either at breakfast or tea. they are best eaten fresh, i.e. warm from the oven, with some cream and jam. yum. i've been making scones for years now, though not everyday. the secret to making good scones is that you dont have to knead it like a bread dough (just like making pie crust, the less, the better). so it pays to be light-handed. the best news is that it doesnt require a lot of ingredients.

Basic Scones (10 pcs, depending on the size of the cutter)

2 cups self raising flour
a pinch of salt
30g butter, cut into small pieces (better to use butter than margarine as the former has a delicate flavour)
1/2 cup of fresh milk (i used less than 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup of water

sift flour and salt together into a large bowl. add butter and rub in lightly using fingertips. combine milk and water. make a well in the centre of the flour. pour in the liquid all at once, reserving about a teaspoon for glazing. mix quickly to a soft dough. turn onto a floured board. knead lightly. roll out to form a round about 2cm thick. cut using a floured plain round cutter. place on a greased oven tray and glaze with milk. preheat the oven to 220C and bake for 10-12 mins ( it takes me 20 mins, but ovens vary in terms of cooking time) until the scones sound hollow when tapped. cool on wire rack. serve with jam and cream.

how to serve the scone. split the scone in half, so that you have 2 rounds, and spread with some jam or cream or butter.

Apple Meringue Pie

when i was 10, my sister took me to a Puspanita cooking class. the instructor was a european (i cant remember whether she's german or swedish). what i like about this pie is that it has a meringue topping, unlike the other apple pie which requires you to cover the filling with another layer of pastry. i used to suck in making the crust, but after talking to my niece the chef, i took her advice. the pie was perfect! the meringue peaks had golden tinge to them...the crust was perfect - smooth and with no cracks.... unfortunately i didnt take any pics. so anyway, with some adjustments, i present to you the recipe.

pie crust (8 inch pie tin)

8 oz flour
a pinch of salt
5 oz butter, diced
1 egg yolk
3 tb cold water

apple pie filling

4 medium Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced
4 oz sugar (you may decrease to 3oz if u prefer it to be less sweet). i used brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


2 egg whites
1 0z sugar


to make the crust, rub the butter and flour with your fingertips. you may use pastry cutter if you have it, or just plain knife and cut the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
add in the yolk and water bit by bit until the dough sticks together. begin to knead on a floured surface. do not knead long, as this is not a bread dough. wrap it in a clingwrap and refrigerate it for at least half an hour. take an 8 inch pie tin and spread some breadcrumbs. take out the dough and on a floured surface, roll out using a rolling pin until you get about 1 cm thickness. transfer the crust onto the pie tin and use a fork to pierce some holes so that hot air can escape (to avoid the crust becoming soggy). we have to blind bake the crust, so in order to do that, take a piece of greaseproof paper or aluminium foil and place it on top of the crust. pour in some rice or dried beans to lend some weight so that the pie crust will not rise while it's baking. bake at 200 C 15-20 mins. remove the weight from the pie crust and continue baking for another 5 mins.

to make the filling, cook the apples, sugar and the cinnamon on slow fire until the apples are mashed.

to make the meringue, beat the egg whites until it is stiff then add sugar.

spoon the apple pie filling onto the pie after it has been baked the 2nd time. then fold in the meringue on top of the filling. bake for another 10 mins or until the meringue peaks turn golden.