Rhubarb & custard scones

These delicious scones feature one of Britain's best-loved flavour combinations: rhubarb and custard. Serve with clotted cream for an enjoyable afternoon tea in the garden


  • 300g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g custard powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 95g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 150-175ml whole milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • clotted cream, to serve
  • For the rhubarb compote
  • 250g rhubarb, roughly chopped (or use chopped frozen rhubarb)
  • 100g caster or granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • drop of red food colouring gel (optional)


    1. Mix the flour, custard powder, ¼ tsp fine salt, the baking powder and sugar together in a large bowl. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
    2. Gradually mix in the milk using your hands until you have a smooth dough – you may not need it all. Gently roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 2cm thickness. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment, cover and chill for 30 mins to firm up, or up to 1 hr if you want to get ahead.
    3. Meanwhile, make the rhubarb compote. Tip all the ingredients into a large saucepan along with 2 tbsp water (omit the water if you’re using frozen rhubarb). Simmer over a medium heat for 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb has softened and is almost collapsing, and the mixture has thickened. If you’re using frozen rhubarb, you may like to stir in a drop of red food colouring to enhance the pink colour. Transfer the compote to a bowl and leave to cool completely.
    4. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and remove the dough from the fridge. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Stamp out three or four scones from the dough using a 7cm round biscuit cutter (see tip below). Arrange the scones on the prepared tray, leaving a 2cm gap between each.
    5. Roll the remaining dough out again as in step two, then stamp out as many scones as you can (you should get about six in total). Transfer these to the tray as well, then brush all the scones with the beaten egg (see tip below). Bake for 10-12 mins until the tops are golden brown, then leave to cool completely on the tray. Serve with the rhubarb compote and clotted cream. Best eaten the day they’re made.