Scone-making requires a gentle touch. Any heavy handling will result in flat, dense scones, because it risks overworking the protein (gluten) in the flour and that makes the scones tougher.
Don’t be a slave to this recipe; if you want to use dark chocolate, or to change the fruit, then go ahead and do so.
50g desiccated coconut
400g self-raising flour, sifted, plus more to dust
pinch of sea salt
150g granulated sugar
50g cold unsalted butter, chopped
100ml sunflower oil
150g white chocolate, chopped
100g dried apricots, chopped
10–25ml whole milk, plus more to glaze
Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas mark 3.
Spread the desiccated coconut on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until golden brown, turning it with a spatula every 5 minutes so it cooks evenly. Allow to cool.
Now increase the oven temperature to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas mark 3½.
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar. Rub the butter into the flour mixture to form a texture like crumbs, then stir in half the oil. Add the white chocolate, apricots and coconut, mix and make a well in the centre.
Crack the eggs into a measuring jug, top up to 225ml with milk and beat together lightly with the remaining oil. Pour into the well and mix, gradually incorporating the dry ingredients to form a dough. Be gentle.
Roll the dough out carefully on a lightly floured worktop, using a floured rolling pin, to 2cm thick, then cut out scones with a floured 8cm pastry cutter.
Place the scones gently on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and brush the tops with a little milk, then bake for 12–15 minutes or until risen and golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack with a palette knife and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then serve while they still have a breath of the oven about them.