Sylvia McArdle & Stephanie Hannus
This dish would be a favorite of Countess Cora’s to offer to her younger guests with their tea. While visitors such as the Dowager Countess might prefer less flavorful options, these scones would give a needed variety — not to mention flavor — to a meal that most of Cora’s guests would have experienced on a daily basis.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
In a large bowl and using a wooden spoon, mix together the flour, both sugars, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Using your bare hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the berries, mixing well, so that the berries are evenly distributed.
In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk and vanilla extract with a fork.
Once again using your hands, dig a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour the buttermilk mixture into the well. Still using your hands, combine the ingredients until the entire mixture appears wet. Do not overknead.
Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Gently pat down the dough to make a disk about 1½-2 inches thick. Using a biscuit cutter (or a knife if you don’t have a biscuit cutter), cut out as many scones as possible and lay them on the baking sheet. Gather together the remaining dough to cut out more scones, careful not to overknead the dough.
Liberally brush the heavy cream over the top of each scone, then sprinkle them with sugar. Bake the scones for 10-12 minutes or until they are lightly browned.