White chocolate, apricot and coconut scones

    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.

    MAKES 10
    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
    4 eggs
    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.