Queen's former chef shows how to make Her Majesty's favourite scones

Food 21/04/2020

Former royal chef Darren McGrady has been a treasure trove when it comes to recipes that the royal family absolutely love.

He was head chef for the royals for well over a decade and the latest recipe he is sharing is Her Majesty's favourite scones.

He says: "The Queen would have plain scones one day, and fruit scones the next, with raisins and sultanas.

"She would always have afternoon tea wherever she was in the world. I remember being on the Royal Yacht Britannia, we flew out to Australia and it was like 5 o clock in the morning but to the Queen it was 5 o clock in the afternoon, so my first job was making scones."

Ingredients (makes 16)

  • 3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour

  • One stick soft butter

  • 1/2 cup + one tbs of granulated sugar

  • 4 tsp of baking powder

  • One egg

  • One cup of milk

  • One cup of raisins (if making fruit scones)

  • One egg yolk for glazing

Start by preheating the oven to 180C and adding the flour, baking powder, sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and rub it all together into fine breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the centre and add in the beaten egg and about 3/4 of a cup of milk. Use your hand to gently combine but be careful not to mix it too much as you don't want to tighten the dough.

If the mixture is dry, add some more milk a little bit at a time until the dough comes together without much effort as you move it around the bowl with your hand.

Darren says it's 'really important we don't kneed it' at this stage, as simply moving it around will combine it easily.

Once it's formed a nice ball, put the dough on a lightly floured surface and kneed it 'just a little bit' to get a smooth surface.

Lightly roll it out so it's about one inch thick and cut out the scones using a 2 inch cookie cutter.

Darren says the secret to a delicious looking scone is to glaze the tops only with egg yolk, so make sure you do that before popping them in the oven for around 15 minutes.

Take them out when they are golden brown on top and leave them to cool before cutting them in half and adding a dollop of butter between the two halves to melt.

And as he added jam and clotted cream to finish he may have ended the debate over which goes first once and for all - by revealing the Queen was always jam first.