For most of my baking life it's been a source of mild frustration and disappointment to me that my scones were not all that they might be (they didn't rise nicely and who wants a stubby looking scone?) but in the last couple of years it's all come together - I might not win any prizes but you'd almost certainly want another if you tried them. This is mostly due to the the Scottish one and our joint love of afternoon tea. At home I'd bake a cake (with my Kitchen Aid, well stocked store cupboard, range of tins, and oven whose idiosyncrasies I understand), away nothing beats a scone for simplicity - or so I thought.
The recipe I use is, along with pound cake, the only one I don't need to check. It calls for the oven to be turned up to 220 degrees C, 8oz of self raising flour, a tablespoon of sugar (optional), 2oz of butter not to hard, and about 150mls of milk - or enough so that the mix all comes together and is only just not sticky. Mix the sugar, flour, and butter into sandy breadcrumbs as quickly as possible, stir in the milk, pat the dough into a disk about an inch thick, cut out the scones (you get six nice big fat ones from this recipe) stick them on a baking tray and into the oven. Quickly wash up and then put the kettle on and make a pot of tea, by which time (10 to 12 minutes) the scones should be cooked. Let them cool whilst the tea brews and then eat them. Scones don't keep well so there's every reason to be greedy.
I'm bringing this up because scones are essentially a cult item in our relationship and we're given to (reverently) discussing them - this time because I'd been browsing through 'Tea With Bea' and read her (frankly iconoclastic) version. There are eggs and a lot of chilling and waiting and chilling and fuss and whilst it seems likely that the results would be delicious I don't hold with it. Some browsing on line (I have an action packed life) revealed a whole lot of scone fiddling - I'm here to make a case for keeping it simple.
I don't believe scones should be 'ultimate' or complicated. The best thing about them is that you can think a cup of tea and a bite of something might just hit the spot and be eating one a whisker under half an hour later. They should be cheap and easy - the kind of thing it's no bother to knock up in a strange kitchen. Obviously they deserve a bit of love and care - to be anointed with only the finest jams, and cream whipped to softly fluffy perfection, but it's the almost instant gratification that makes me adore them so. It's right and proper that individual bakers have their own quirks (some swear by a drop of lemon juice, cream of tartar, yoghurt...) but I believe the real secret is practice. After a while measurements become superfluous, you know when it looks and feels right, after which a lifetime of smug satisfaction awaits.