Date Scones

I whipped these up on a Saturday morning in winter. Of course, a Queensland winter means days bathed in brilliant sunshine, when temperatures are very mild, and nights that go down to 5 or 6 degrees celsius - but by that time you're in bed anyway.

I bought the pitted dates especially for this recipe, as I generally dont have them loitering casually about in my pantry. But the rest of the ingredients are standard stuff. This recipe is from Belinda Jefferies book. I remember the time when she was on Better Homes and Gardens - a long time ago - one of the first Australian cooks I started following when I tried to break out of the Indian cooking preponderance. But I couldn't resist here, this needs a little cardamom and a splash of rose water.

You need

  •  A mini-muffin, gem, or yorkshire pudding tin.
  • 2 bowls, a wooden spoon, and an eating spoon
  • 3/4 cup flour sifted with 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup soft unsalted butter - keep a little aside for greasing the tin
  • 1/3 cup of caster sugar, or dextrose
  •  1 egg - quite small. A large egg makes the scones too eggy - or maybe thats just me
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose water
  • a pinch of cardamom powder - just take the seeds of one pod, and crush them roughly
  • 12 dates, pitted


  1. Turn on the oven to 200 C and place the muffin, gem or yorkshire pudding tray onto another flat baking tray. This is to preheat the tin.
  2. Mix the flour, salt and cardamom powder in a small bowl and leave aside.
  3. Beat the sugar and butter together with a wooden spoon in another bigger bowl until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Keep at it, it will suddenly become smooth and fluffy!
  4. Add the egg, vanilla and rose essences and beat till smooth
  5. Stir in the flour, alternately with the milk. Mix lightly till it is smooth.
  6. Take out the tray from the oven, and quickly grease with the reserved butter. You can use a bit of kitchen paper carefully.
  7. Use the spoon to plop the batter into the tins, and into each put a date on top.
  8. Put back in the oven, on the center tray.
  9. Take out after 10 minutes when the scones will be risen and golden brown. Turn out onto a clean teatowel and call the troops.

Eat with butter, or not.
Average life of scones, about 5 minutes! Which is why there are no photographs!