Friday, 16 May 2014

#ReadCookEat recipe : Lemon scones (inspired by Above All Things by Tanis Rideout)

Having set myself the challenge of joining in with the #ReadCookEat challenge for every book I finish from now on, I wasn't sure what I'd end up making from my latest read, Above All Things. (You can read my review here.)

As it follows George Mallory's endeavour to conquer Mount Everest in the 1920's, there wasn't really much cooking involved. The intrepid explorers seem to survive exclusively on weak tea (made with melted snow) and bully beef, although there was one mention of quail in foie gras sauce. I did google for Himalayan recipes but didn't find much that appealed to me (although there is one that I may try out, so I'll let you know how it goes). Luckily, the novel also focuses on the life of Ruth, George Mallory's wife, living in limbo back home while her husband is away, trying to keep life going as usual for her children. Again, there isn't much cooking : the children's breakfast of boiled eggs is mentioned, then a dinner party with lamb and vegetables and - close to the end - a mention of scones, made with lemon or lavender. Tada, that'll do ! 

I tweaked my usual recipe for scones, using some of the Marina Colonna lemon-flavoured olive oil to give them a delicate citrus flavour. I was clean out of raisins when I went to look, but I did find some candied peel lurking at the back of the cupboard which I thought had a nice retro feel, reminiscent of the kind of thing people would have eaten in the 1920s.

Lemon Scones

ingredients :

225g self raising flour
pinch of salt
50g butter
50g caster sugar
100ml milk
25ml lemon-flavoured olive oïl
100g candied peel
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of allspice

Mix the salt and spices into the flour then rub in the butter. Mix in the sugar, the candied peel and the olive oil, then just enough of the milk for it to come together into a soft dough.

Roll out to about 2cm thick then cut out with a cookie cutter and place on a greased baking tray.

Brush with a little of the remaining milk and pop in the oven at 220° for 10-12 minutes until they're well risen and golden brown.

These can be eaten as they are but they were utterly delicious, still warm from the oven with lashings of butter and strawberry jam.

I'm linking up with the #ReadCookEat challenge, over at Chez Maximka and Chris - Cooking Around The World.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

#ReadCookEat recipe : Mango Vinegar Prawn Salad, inspired by Craig Robertson's Last Refuge


  1. As you mentioned, connecting cooking and reading can be a tough one. The last book I read just referred to an omelette, not much else. Good you came up with those lovely lemon scones. I think, I couldn't resist one of those.

    1. I think the next one may be tougher - it's crime fiction !

  2. These look gorgeous, it is so hard to find food in books!

    1. It is, but that's what makes it fun ! - if they're set in exotic locations, that can be a big help (but the Faroe Islands and Himalayas weren't great for gastronomy !)

  3. Absolutely gorgeous scones, totally irresistible! Pinned, RTed, G+ed, and simply loved them.

    1. aww thanks - and thanks for hosting such an inspiring challenge :)

  4. I love anything with lemons so will try these!