Rich, crumbly scones flavoured with vanilla - eat them straight from the oven!
Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Rub in the butter (which should be firm, but not fridge cold) until you can't see many lumps left. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and whish together with the cream and egg. Add to the bowl and mix to form a dough - don't overwork it!
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead very briefly, for 10 seconds or so, to make it smoother. Now, using a little more flour, pat or gently roll out to a thickness of about 4cm. Dip a pastry cutter (any size you like - I prefer small ones) into flour and cut out scones, transferring to a baking tray lined with parchment as you do. You can reform the trimmings to cut more scones, but they will be less beautiful than the first ones.
Brush the tops (but not the sides) with milk and bake at 200c for 10-15 minutes, depending on size. Carefully break one open to check it is cooked through before removing the rest. Cool briefly on a wire rack.
«These are brilliant eaten with rhubarb jam and butter - and if you make the butter yourself, you could use the resulting buttermilk in place of the cream in this recipe.»