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Asked by areddy. Answered on 30th June 2013

Full question

Hi. I'm from India and I am dying to make Buttermilk Scones. The problem is, we don't get cream of tartar or lard or vegetable shortening. Is there an alternate recipe? Thank you.

Our answer

Nigella's Buttermilk Scones (from Kitchen) are made with a combination of cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) for leaveneing and butter and vegetable shortening for for a tender crumb. However if you can't get these ingredients you can make a few easy adjustments.

The recipe uses 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda and 2 teaspoons cream of tartar. Instead you can use 3 teaspoons of baking powder (which is a cobination of cream of tartar and bicarb.) plus one teaspoon bicarbonate of soda. This should give your scones plenty of lift.

The vegetable shortening gives the scones a slightly flaky texture but if you can't find it you can certainly just switch the shortening for regular butter. We would suggest not using ghee as both butter and vegetable shortening contain some water which turns to steam as the scones cook and helps them to rise and become light. Ghee contains very little water and so could leave the scones slightly heavy and possible a little bit greasy.

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