Here's a different way to add fruit to scones. Dates work so well but you can also use dried apricots or cranberries. By stewing the fruit first you can add a bunch more flavour with spices and juice. You can also make the date mixture ahead of time.

Date filling:

2 c dates, chopped

grated rind of 1 orange

1/2 c orange juice (or water)

2 tsp mixed spice (I used my chai spice blend)

2 Tbsp brown or coconut sugar

2 Tbsp honey or jam

25 g butter


2 c self-raising flour (or plain flour with 2 tsp baking powder)

1/4 tsp salt

50 g cold butter, grated

3//4 c milk

1 egg

coarse or coffee sugar to sprinkle, if desired

Preheat oven to 220C (200C fan) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

To make the filling, in a small saucepan over medium heat, mix all the filling ingredients and cook until the dates become softened and mushy. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl sift in the flour and salt. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles crumbs. Make a well in the centre. Mix the milk and egg together in a cup then pour into the well and bring together with a butter knife until a shaggy dough forms. Add extra milk if required.

Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle about 5 mm thick. Spread cooled date mixture over the dough, then roll up tightly from the long end to make a log. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with large sugar crystals if desired.

Bake for 15-18 minutes until browned and sounds hollow when tapped underneath.

Remove from the oven and place a clean tea towel on top to let the scone roll steam for 5 minutes before cutting into slices.