Recipe: Scones with a Plum Compote

Scones with a Plum Compote


Serves 8

For the scones:
350g self-raising flour (keep extra for dusting the scones)
1 tsp baking powder
80g butter, cut into small cubes
45g caster sugar
170ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt

For the compote: 

500g plums, unripe plums are fine to use
150g caster sugar
200ml water
3 star anise
1 large or 2 small cinnamon sticks

To serve: 

1 or 2 tubs of clotted cream


Make the plum compote

  1. Cut the plums into quarters, then remove the stones.  If they are particularly firm, use a small sharp knife to remove the stones.
  2. Measure the sugar into a medium pan, pour the water over the sugar, add the plums and spices to the pan and turn the heat down to allow it to simmer for 10 mins. If you are using riper plums this may take 5 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the plums from the pan and set the liquid aside to cool.
  4. When the scones are in the oven, boil the liquid for 15 minutes until reduced to a thick syrup-like consistency.
  5. Allow to cool and pour over the plums, this can now be decanted into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Allow to cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.
  6. This kind of compote will most certainly taste best after 20-30 minutes out of the fridge, if it has indeed been stored for a while.

Make the scones

  1. Preheat the oven to 200℃ fan-assisted/220℃ conventional and place a baking tray in the oven.
  2. Place the self-raising flour into a large bowl with a pinch of salt and the baking powder, then mix.
  3. Add in the cubes of butter, then rub the ingredients in with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs, making sure it doesn't become too warm and greasy.
  4. Flour your baking tray and work surfaces ahead of preparing the dough.
  5. Stir in the sugar and mix well, this will; add sweetness to the scone dough.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and the lemon juice to the milk.
  7. Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife – it will seem wet at first but keep mixing with a knife until very few crumbs remain.
  8. Bring the dough together with your hands, being careful not to overwork it. Pat it into a round shape of about 4 cm deep. Take a 5 cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise). Push the cutter into the dough, then repeat until you have 8 scones. Press the remaining dough back into a round to cut more scones.
  9. Dust with some flour. Bake for 14-15 mins until risen and golden on the top and the sides are set.
  10. Allow to cool slightly before cutting in half and serving with your plum compote and clotted cream.


  • The scones are best eaten on the day of baking, though will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.  They can also be successfully frozen for up to 3 months.  We advise refreshing in a hot oven or even halving and lightly toasting if they are more than a day old or have been frozen.
  • The plums can be stored  in their syrup for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

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