Strawberry Jam ‘Snails’
I love these whimsical ‘snails’, I always have a sense of delight at the way they puff up and form little whorls and spirals as they bake. There’s also something terribly satisfying about making them – it’s just plain good fun. I must admit I tend to gild the lily somewhat when I serve these, and go the whole hog with lashings of cream, extra jam and a big bowlful of fresh strawberries to squish on top, but they’re equally as delicious with just a dollop of cream.
- 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 75g cold unsalted butter, cut into little chunks
- ¾ – 1 cup (180 – 250ml) milk
- 1 egg yolk, whisked with 2 teaspoons of water or milk to make an egg wash
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- More jam, softly whipped cream and fresh strawberries (optional, to serve)
- Strawberry butter:
- 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (80g) good quality strawberry (or raspberry) ja
Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper. then set it aside.
Put the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and whiz them together to combine. Add the butter and process the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then tip it into a bowl. (You can also do this by hand in a large bowl. Simply rub the butter chunks into the flour mixture with your fingertips.) Pour in the milk and mix it in lightly with a fork. You will have to adjust the milk a little – you need just enough to make a soft, slightly flaky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead it gently until it’s fairly smooth. Then roll (or pat it out with your hands), into a rectangle about 30cm x 20cm.
For the strawberry butter, put the butter and jam into the food processor and whiz them together until they’re thoroughly mixed. Otherwise, just cream them together in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Spread this strawberry butter evenly over the dough, leaving a 1cm wide strip uncovered on the long side that is furthest away from you. Brush a thin layer of egg wash on the strip of dough that is uncovered. Starting at the long side nearest you, roll the dough up like a jam roll, pressing down gently on the final roll to help seal the egg-washed edge to the roll. Carefully transfer the log to the prepared baking tray and chill it for at least an hour (you can safely leave it for 2 – 3 hours, if you like). When I’ve been pushed for time, I’ve made these without chilling the log first, just cutting then baking the scones, and they’re still delicious but tend to open out a little.
Preheat your oven to 200C.
Remove the tray from the fridge and gently transfer the log to a cutting board. Use a lightly floured knife to cut the log into 3cm-thick slices. (The dough may be a bit soft and squashy to cut but I find if you use a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion it works well.)
Sit the resulting snails, cut side-down, on the lined tray, leaving a gap between each one to allow them to spread.
Just before putting the scones in the oven, brush very lightly around the sides of each one with the egg wash to give them a golden glaze as they bake. Bake them for 15-20 minutes or until the scones are light golden.
When they’re ready, remove them from the oven, dust them with icing sugar and pop them into a serving basket lined with a clean cloth or tea towel to keep them warm. Serve them straight way with jam, cream and fresh strawberries.