Granny Smith’s Famous Apple Scones



  • 450 g (1 lb) self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 110 g (3¾ oz) butter, chilled and diced
  • 150g (5½ oz) caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 4 South African Granny Smith apples
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg or cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • Approx. 280 ml (9½ fl oz) milk
  • To Serve: clotted cream; warm poached apple slices.
Recipe courtesy of South African Fruit

Everyone here in the “Friend” office is a big fan of scones.

And with all the focus back on the latest series of the Great British Bake Off, this is the perfect time to share my favourite recipe!


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 deg. C., 400 deg. F., Gas Mark 6. Put a baking sheet into the oven to pre-heat (this helps to give your scones extra lift).
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 100 g (3½ oz) of the sugar.
  3. Peel and core the apples, chop half of them and stir into the scone mixture. Slice the remaining apples thinly and put them into a saucepan with the remaining 50 g (1¾ oz) sugar, a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon and 100 ml (3½ fl oz) water. Heat and simmer until tender – about 10 minutes.
  4. Beat the egg in a measuring jug, then add milk to bring the liquid up to 300 ml (½ pt), mixing well. Add just enough to the rubbed-in mixture to make a soft (not sticky) dough – there will be some liquid left. Bring the dough together.
  5. Knead the dough lightly on a floured work surface for a few moments. Wrap in cling film and chill for 10 to 5 minutes, though no longer, as you don’t want the dough to be icy cold and tricky to roll.
  6. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 3 cm (1¼ in) thick. Use a 5 cm (2 in) plain or fluted cutter to stamp out rounds. Gather any trimmings together, re-roll and cut out more scones.
  7. Arrange the scones quickly on to the pre-heated baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining egg and milk mixture.
  8. Immediately transfer to the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes towards the top of the oven, until well-risen and golden brown. Cool a little, sprinkle with sugar, serve with the poached apples and clotted cream.

I’m sure you’ll love these. But just in case, you can also try out our recipe for ginger yoghurt scones.

Or even go all the way back to 1918 and try out these surprisingly tasty ration scones!