8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 1/2 cups all-purpose four
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups sour cream or buttermilk
1 egg, beaten, or milk for brushing scones
Preheat oven to 450º F.
Coat 2 baking sheets with butter.
Sift flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Add butter, using fingertips to combine until mixture takes on texture of fine meal.
Stir in raisins.
Add sour cream and stir until flour mixture is just moist and dough begins to stick together.
Gather dough into a ball and knead lightly until fully integrated.
Place dough on a floured work surface and roll out with a floured rolling pin to 1/4-inch thick. Dip a 2-inch cutter into flour and cut out scones as close together as possible. Place on prepared baking sheets, with space in between; let stand 10 minutes.
Brush tops with egg, and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove to wire rack to cool.
Serve warm with butter, clotted cream, fruit preserves or jam.
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen