Vegan Scones with Homemade Strawberry Jam

Before making these, I can’t remember the last time I had a scone. I didn’t even miss them until I was sitting down eating one, then I remembered how good they were. Sweet and crumbly, they taste of outdoor adventures in warmer weather. Paired with strawberry jam (and cream if you like), scones are a memory as much as they are a flavour. They are tea shops on a weekend afternoon. They are trips to the countryside with your parents, and the smell of spring grass underfoot. Scones are as quintessentially British as red telephone boxes and are worth your time if you choose to make them.
These, of course, are adapted to be vegan and lose nothing of the original flavour. The recipe makes 8-10, more than enough for afternoon tea with a couple of friends. The jam I made on a whim out of strawberries that needed using up. You can just use shop-bought jam, but I really can’t recommend enough that you make it yourself. If you haven’t done it before, it’s a lot easier than you might think.

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Strawberry Jam.

Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: about 2 ½ hours
Makes 1 jar.

800g ripe strawberries, stalked and quartered
300g sugar
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
150ml cold water

Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Put a lid half on (that is, leave a gap for steam to escape) and gently simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the lid and simmer for another 90 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick, jam-like consistency. Allow to cool a little and then either pour into a clean jam jar or can properly in canning jars. It will keep in the fridge for about a month in a jam jar.

Vegan Scones.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes. Cooking time: 15-20 minutes.
Makes 8-10

400g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g vegan margarine
100g unrefined caster sugar
100g raisins
175ml dairy-free milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to Gas 7/220C/425F and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Put the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarb of soda and margarine into a bowl and rub together with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs (takes about 5 minutes).
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring together with your hands. Knead on a lightly-floured surface until fully combined, and then roll out to about 3cm thick. Use a medium-sized pastry cutter to cut out your scone shapes and then load them onto the baking tray, leaving a little space in between them. Re-roll the pastry to use as much as possible.
When you are done, put the baking tray in the middle of the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the scones are risen and golden. Allow to cool before serving.

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