Dame Helen Mirren was born 72 years ago today at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in West London. Well known for her many roles of film, stage, and television, she is the only person to have portrayed both Queen Elizabeth I (2005) and Queen Elizabeth II (2006). You might also know her for her portrayal of Morgana in Excalibur (1981).
According to IMDB, she “Played a Queen a total of six times: The Queen (2006), Elizabeth I (2005), The Prince of Egypt (1998), The Snow Queen (1995), The Madness of King George (1994), and Caligula(1979).” Also according to IMDB, the longest she has gone without an Oscar is seven years. She received the 2,488th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2013.
In honor of her London birthplace, we provide you this recipe for scones.
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, unsifted
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar, to taste
- 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 °F.
Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in butter with your hands or a pastry cutter. Once the mixture resembles large crumbs, stir in sugar. Pour in milk and stir until dough moves away from the edge of the bowl.
Place dough on floured surface and knead about 10 times. Kneading more than that will make the scones brittle and dry. Roll dough out with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness, and cut with a biscuit or cookie cutter; alternatively, you can pat the dough into about 3 large balls, flatten them down to about 1/4 inch, and cut into about 6 triangles.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake between 10 and 15 minutes, until the tops are a light golden color. Remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling rack. Cover with a clean towel.
There are many possible variations on this recipe. For example, to make cinnamon scones, you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon with the sugar, and toss in about half a cup of cinnamon chips just before adding the milk. For vanilla scones, you can either use vanilla sugar instead of regular granulated sugar, or you can add a teaspoon of vanilla with the milk. For currant scones, add about 3/4 cup of currants before pouring in the milk.