Around April last year, our oven decided it would blow up, leaving us with no option but to either cook in the microwave or on the stove top. After a couple of months of this, I coerced Mum into taking me down to the local discount warehouse and buying a wee 9L toaster oven.
Since this time though, a few things have changed. For one, I no longer have to depend on my parents or the highly unreliable public transport system to get me from point A to point B. Yes, I finally sat my driving test and am finally starting to drive myself places. I forget to put my lights on half the time and I can’t park to save myself but those little things don’t ruin the feeling of freedom too much. Secondly, last month we bought a microwave that now roasts/grills/whatevers as well (our old microwave crapped itself last week, hence the need for a replacement) so my toaster oven isn’t as critical as it once was. It still has a place in our kitchen though for sure - it’s my ‘sweet potato roasting’ oven :-D
The only real inconvenience we experienced in the kitchen between the oven malfunctioning and purchasing the toaster oven was… well, not much to be honest. Obviously variety was restricted but where there is a will, there is a way. And I almost nearly found a way, albeit not conventional ones. The kitchen tool that really saved me during this time was my Chefs Toolbox Saute Pan… one of my aunties gave it to me for my 18th birthday and I haven’t looked back since. It’s incredibly versatile and you can use it for everything from scones to frittatas and cakes to casseroles. These days, it mainly gets used for scones.
|Sautee pan (from web)|
Now when I say scones, I’m not talking about your light n fluffy Devonshire tea variety. I am talking heavy, fruity, damper-like balls of baked flour. Ok, so maybe I don’t even like them all that much. For some unknown reason however, my dad is absolutely obsessed with the things and can’t get enough of them. So I thought I would share the recipe anyway, in case there are others of you out there who have peculiar tastes … don’t get me wrong, they’re not bad. I would just rather buttermilk scones slathered in cream and jam.
3 cups wholemeal self-raising flour (can also use white, or a combination of both)
Pinch of salt
1 cup sultanas
1 cup milk (approximate)
Optional: 30ml sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180C .
2. Stir the flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl (and sugar if using).
3. Mix in the sultanas.
4. Make a well in the centre and add the milk slowly.
5. Mix to combine, without over mixing. Add more milk if necessary – the dough should be able to stick together but shouldn’t be too gooey to the point of oozing liquid.
6. Form 9-12 balls of dough and place on a prepared baking tray.
7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes cleanly out of the middle and the tops are lightly brown.
8. Drown in butter, jam or peanut butter.
Note: When I make these in the sauté pan (which is the only way I do at the moment), I preheat the pan on a medium-high heat and cook the scones for about 15 minutes. I then flip the scones over and cook them for another 5-10 minutes to brown the tops.
I go for peanut butter and strawberry jam when eating these, while Dad goes for the butter. They’re pretty ok with a cup of tea or coffee I suppose… the main attraction of these is that they are extremely quick and easy. I guess you could also say they’re healthy! They’re not loaded with butter and cream at the very least.
If you don’t ever get around to making these, fear not! They freeze extremely well and our freezer is always chocker-block full of scones as part of Dad’s emergency supply. Anyone is welcome to pop over at any time for a cuppa and a scone if they so wish :-)