Heirloom Baking – 1


I have become quite fascinated with the idea of “heirloom baking”.  What does this mean?  Well, the way I think of it is baking with recipes that are handed down through families.  Cakes and other baked goods that are the way grandma or great grandma used to make.  So with that in mind, I have decided to resurrect some of my old family recipes.

My Recipe Book

My Recipe Book

This is my recipe book.  My mum made it for me and gave it to me on my wedding day.  She had one like it when I was growing up and I loved it, so she made me my own.  Hers was all hand written recipes passed down from her mother and grandmothers.  Mine is mostly hand written with some magazine cutouts as well.  There is even room in the back for me to add to it.

I have used this book a lot (as the stains attest to) and it contains some of my favourite recipes.  These recipes are ones that my mum used to make when I was growing up or that my grandmother used to make.

Some of my earliest baking memories are of my nana’s kitchen with her baking fairy cakes (my pop’s favourite) and pies.  She would let me play with the left over pastry and then when she was finished we would roll out the pastry scraps and spread jam on them, roll them up and bake them.  They were always tough and dry (from the over kneading) but I was always so chuffed that I had made them.

One of the best recipes in this book is this Scone recipe.  When I was in my twenties, I made a batch of scones and entered them in a local CWA (Country Women’s Association) competition.  I won first prize.  I was extremely pleased with myself for having beaten the older, more experienced bakers.  I didn’t even use expensive ingredients, just regular old homebrand.  It just goes to show that this recipe is easy peasy!

With Mother’s Day just passed, I decided to make a batch of scones to do as a special at our cafe.  Then I couldn’t decide between plain, pumpkin or date, so I made a batch of each 🙂

A quick note about the following recipes.  These a from a time when baking was done in a wood stove and measurements were done with regular tea cups and spoons.  With that in mind, be aware that you made need to jiggle the quantities a bit, but not too much.

Date Scones

Date Scones












Plain Scones or Date Scones


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 dessertspoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 heaped cups Self Raising flour, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chopped dates (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 250°c.  Grease a baking tray (or use grease-proof paper)
  2. Melt butter in hot water.
  3. Beat egg with cold water in a small bowl.  Add sugar and mix to combine.
  4. Stir in butter mixture and add milk, mixing well.
  5. Put flour into a large bowl and add salt .  Slowly add wet ingredients to flour.
  6. Stir quickly with a knife until just combined, being sure not to overmix.
  7. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead once or twice – do not over knead as scones will become tough.
  8. Press out with the heel of your hand.  Cut into rounds and put on tray.
  9. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.  You will know when scones are done when they sound hollow when you tap the top.
  10. Turn out onto a clean tea towel and wrap up to cool (or eat when hot with lots of butter!)


Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Scones












Pumpkin Scones


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin
  • 3 cups Self Raising flour
  • A little milk (if needed)


  1. Preheat oven to 250°c.  Grease a baking tray or use grease-proof paper.
  2. Beat butter and sugar to a cream.
  3. Add pumpkin and egg; mix well.
  4. Quickly fold in flour, making sure not to over mix.  If mixture is too dry, add a little milk.
  5. Turn out on to a floured board and push out with heel of hand.
  6. Cut into rounds and place on prepared tray and bake for about 12 mins or until starting to brown.
  7. Turn out onto a clean tea towel and wrap up to cool

My favourite way to serve these is warm with lashings of real butter, jam and whipped cream…oh and a good cup of tea!


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