Scones and a traditional English Cream Tea

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Scones and a traditional English Cream Tea

Serves: Makes ~8 Scones
Cost: ~€1.10
Preparation time: ~25 minutes
Calories: ~165 per plain Scone

Well, it seems like an absolute age since I was here. I’ve been somewhat absent from my blog for the past 6 or 7 days – indeed, from blogging in general, and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of tastiness everyone has been cooking up during my time away. The truth of the matter is that I had a friend over in France visiting me and after visits to Paris and various other local areas time somewhat got away from me. Up to now I’ve still been recovering – I’m really not used to such busy weekends! :D I’m back now though, continuing my run of “Englishness” and today I thought I’d ease back into blogging with something rather easy, but nonetheless delicious – and I’d even say vital to the English tea-table. These can usually be found nestled on a plate beside the cucumber sandwiches and what many of you in the US and Canada may know as “biscuits”, I know them best as scones, and I’m going to talk about a delicious English tradition today – Cream Teas!

The first time I heard the term I was quite young. Images of a steaming mug of tea mixed with cream jumped into my mind and I have to say I was far from excited. When I actually saw what it was though… well, I was pretty darn pleased. A cream tea is effectively scones, served with clotted cream, jam and a nice cup of tea. Traditionally, the scones should be warm, preferably freshly made, the jam should be raspberry or strawberry and the tea served with milk. The only thing I haven’t covered there is the clotted cream. For those of you who haven’t heard of this, this deliciously unhealthy type of cream is formed by:

indirectly heating full-cream cow’s milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms ‘clots’.

Ok – it sounds disgusting, but it’s thick like butter and absolutely fantastic. I’ve never seen it outside England before, so I thought maybe I could make my own. Reading some blogs I found some recipes which said that effectively, all you had to do was place the cream into a shallow pan, cover with foil and place into the oven on a low heat for… wait for it… around 10 hours. Ok, no problem I thought – 15 hours later I still didn’t really have anything which resembled clotted cream, so I gave up. What I would recommend, for those of you wanting to enjoy a delicious cream tea is the following – either use regular whipped cream, and whip it as stiff as possible, or – and this one I rather like – use mascarpone. It’s deliciously thick and creamy and makes a good substitute. Now all you need to worry about is whether you’re going to spread the scones with the jam first, or the mascarpone :D

Scones and a traditional English Cream Tea

In other news, I can barely move my feet after running around for half the day. My wife and I decided to volunteer at a local animal shelter – walking the dogs. Being pulled along by a not enormous, but surprisingly strong dog, desperate to really make the most of his 45 minutes of “freedom” really takes it out of your ankles – the fact that I felt inclined to run around with him as well so he could get some bonus exercise probably didn’t help my poor old legs – still, it was great fun and we’ll be making it a regular thing. Enjoy the post everyone – I have at least another 3 English posts planned – after that… we’ll see how it goes! Have a nice day everyone :)

Scones

Video Recipe

Ingredients

Scone ingredients

  • 230g Self-Raising Flour
  • 50g Salted Butter
  • 2tbsps Caster Sugar
  • 80ml Milk + extra for brushing
  • 70ml Yoghurt (around one individual pot)

You’ll also need

  • A Food Processor

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 220 degrees Celsius and then place the flour and butter into your Food Processor and pulsing until well blended to a breadcrumb-like consistency. If you don’t have a food processor you can rub the flour and butter between your finger-tips and achieve a similar result.
    Mixing the flour and the butter
  2. Next, stir in the milk and the yoghurt to form a sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands to form a smooth, elastic ball.
    Adding the milk and yoghurt
  3. Roll out to a thickness of about 2cms and then cut into rounds using a cutter about 5-6cms in diameter. If necessary, push together the dough scraps to cut more scones.
    Cutting the scones
  4. Transfer the scones to a greased baking sheet and brush with a little milk before placing into the preheated oven.
    Brushing the scones with milk
  5. Bake the scones for ~12 minutes, until they’ve risen well and are golden brown on top. Remove the scones from the oven and set aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so.
    Baked scones
  6. While the scones are still warm, serve with clotted cream (or mascarpone!), strawberry or raspberry jam and a nice cup of tea! Enjoy :)
    Scones and a traditional English Cream Tea

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68 Comments

  1. I really like the printable recipe photo – very colorful and looks tasty!
    Sorry you had a busy weekend cause of me ( But I had an awesome time, so thank you very much for having us there )

    Reply
    • Thanks Marianna – it was a fun time – you’re welcome back anytime.. maybe next time I’ll make scones and cucumber sandwiches :p

      Reply
  2. Wow, you must have had a blast with your friend, Charles, although I must say, you have been missed :). I’ve had a bit of a bog in my blog this week. a kind of a bog that blocked my blog. I am hoping to get over this weekend, I’ve a couple of exciting things planned.
    The scones look marvelous and it’s so lovely with your floral and very Englishy tea set. I will never forget the first time I had Creamed Tea was with JT in the UK, in a very small town who’s name escapes me. We visited JT’s elderly great aunt, who at the age of 85 still lived on her own and tended her own gardens (which were lovely). She served very sweet tea with home baked scones and clotted cream with preserves. I must have thought I died and gone to heaven. Up to this point, English food had not impressed me at all (this was in the late 1980′s) so I was quite happy to find such a tasty treat! Thanks for that trip down memory lane.
    Can’t recall if I mentioned, but our airfare is booked for the fall, I’ll email you details of when we plan to be in Paris, maybe we can hook up for a quick coffee or tea, or even dinner, if your wife is feeling up to it!

    Reply
    • Hi Eva – It was certainly fun. We went around to take photos of a load of monuments by night and had dinner in a Japanese Okonomiyaki place – really nice :)

      I loved your story of JT’s great aunt. I love that about “English ladies” in villages. Fiercely proud of their gardens and churning out wonderful, down to earth, no nonsense food like hearty pies. 1980s English food was pretty bad – i think it was about this time that the popularity of things like coronation chicken and prawn cocktails were at their peak – they’re both quite nice but it seems they were rather done to excess back then, and we didn’t really have any of the “innovators” that we do nowadays on the culinary scene.

      That’s great about your trip – it would be wonderful to meet up – do let me know when… I’ll look forward to it :)

      Reply
  3. I feel better knowing that someone else has life outside of blogging! I’ve been absent too. Honestly though, I miss it so much!! You know I do love scones and am now excited to try your more authentic recipe!!! And I see now why when I post biscuit recipes so many people refer to them as scones!

    Reply
    • Hi Linda – to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s more authentic… they’re often made with butter milk. Yoghurt makes for a nice dough though so I hope you decide to give it a try!

      Reply
  4. hmmm… scones, clotted cream and floral tableware – what a true english feast for the eyes :-)!

    Reply
    • Thanks Epicurea – all that was missing is some crustless cucumber sandwiches, hehe :D

      Reply
  5. Another English delight! Who doesn’t like scones… (we call them scones here in Canada too). My sister and I go out for a traditional English tea (with scones, clotted cream and party sandwiches) every December – it’s a little Christmas tradition we have going and we quite enjoy the treat foods. Once a year is good for me though – haha ;-). I make scones with currants I’ll have to share at some point… your photo with the tea setting is simply beautiful Charles – what a presentation. Congratulations on your new volunteer post – and thank you – it’s worth the tired feet me doth thinks ;-).

    Reply
    • Hi Kelly! I think it’s so cute that you have a tradition of going out for cream teas! That’s too cool :) For me it’smore a summer thing – sitting on a terrace stuffing your face with scones and guzzling gallons of tea… aaah :D

      We went back again today to walk dogs again – it’s so sad, seeing all those unwanted dogs. Some of them have been there years… they’re just “undesirable” for whatever reason. I don’t think they put them down which is good, and the people there do the best they can but it’s a small, independent shelter – lacking money badly. You can tell from their… er… poop… that the food they have is obviously the cheapest stuff possible because they just can’t afford anything else, and the dogs have so little human contact and get a walk maybe every two days that they’re really difficult to take out. They pull and strain at the leash unceasingly… but it definitely makes one feel good, and hey – free exercise to boot for me!

      Reply
      • Just reading your note makes me feel better for those dogs… nothing makes a dog happier than a walk. Travellers by nature, they start to die a slow death when they remain still and feel unloved… how wonderful that you and your wife are finding the time and compassion to do this Charles.

        Reply
        • Thanks Kelly :) We’re trying to fix our hours a bit at work so we can go during the week too. The shelter people work typical French hours – 1000-1200, 1400-1730 Monday to Saturday, so to go there we either need to try and get there after work, which we’re going to do, or go on Saturday, which isn’t always feasible!

  6. Just look at these scones and the wonderful tea. This just reminds me of my mothers biscuits and the homemade jam I usually use and the chamomile tea I drink along with it. Thanks Charles.. for the memories today :)

    Reply
    • Thanks Kay – it’s always nice when food can evoke such nice warm fuzzy memories… I feel exactly the same way sometimes! :)

      Reply
  7. What perfect looking scones. My mother used to make scones on cold wet weekends when I was growing up. She served them with lots of whipped cream (back then no one had a fear of butter or cream or anything full-fat) and homemade raspberry jam. Delicious! And I loved your post except it was missing something – a video of you being pulled along by a medium sized dog – that I would have loved to have seen xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Charlie – haha, you’re right…You know, I think I can definitely arrange for such a video :D I’ll remember to do that next time :D

      Reply
  8. I have no idea whty my husband does not like them. I stopped making them since..
    I love scones, it’s a brilliant idea and a quick fix..Now that he’s away I might serve this to my guests this weekend, take my revenge!
    I’ll just add orange zest and sultanas..

    Reply
    • Aw, no way? I could understand it if he hated only the cheap nasty ones from supermarkets but a good home made scone is fantastic :(

      Orange zest and sultanas sound like a great addition – nice idea!

      Reply
  9. I have seen lots of clotted cream in India (what surprise!;) ), you can see them using huge flat pans with milk in it and they turn it on slow fire for houres. this cream is then used to make indian sweets. They sometimes even add spices to flavoure.

    I feel it tastes extremly awesome, I could eat that the whole day.

    Your scones would be gonne in 20 minutes time in my house (we are only 2). They look so light and appetizing!

    Reply
    • Hi Helene – I’m discovering more and more about Indian cuisine… you know, I never thought before that clotted cream was so common or popular in India. Not surprising though since it’s just so darn awesomely nom-licious :D

      Reply
  10. As an Australian I have a true love for a good tender scone with jam and cream and a cup of tea. However I have never had clotted cream and didn’t know what it was. Thanks for the run down. I have to say I love your option of mascarpone!

    Reply
    • Thanks Marcellina – you gotta try it if you can. It’s often sold with a yellow “crust” on top. It sounds disgusting but it’s absolutely delicious :D

      Reply
  11. I love those English teas … and I don’t mean just the beverage in their dainty little teacups … I meant the whole works! It’s very popular here and we do have Devon clotted cream on the shop shelves … lucky us! I love me a good scone. I’m going to start compiling all your English tea goodies and make a complete menu of it and have a proper tea party one day .. complete with my favorite Earl Grey tea with a slice of lemon. Ooooh, I want this so bad right now!

    Reply
    • Thanks Ping – aah, an English tea party – that would be so much fun! Don’t forget the cucumber sandwiches!!! Your comment has the effect of subliminal advertising too… I suddenly crave a cup of earl grey, lol :D

      Reply
  12. Mmm. Cream tea. One of the best English traditions.

    Reply
    • Absolutely – with some little triangle cut cucumber sandwiches before, it’s just so darn civilised :D

      Reply
  13. Delicious looking scones, ‘cream’ and jam. I’m recovering from a bout of stomach flu last weekend and still getting twinges so I haven’t had the energy to do much food-wise but I’d munch down on this lovely treat if I did. Looking forward to the next Brit treat. :)

    Reply
    • Thanks A_Boleyn – sorry to hear about your bug… hope you’re feeling better now. I made my next item this evening to take to some friends’ house – it was very popular so I hope it will be equally so here!

      Reply
  14. Charles, as you know, no one appreciates tea, a cream tea or an afternoon tea more than I do! Your scones look lovely (I make wedges, though, like my mother and grandmother before me–perhaps a Lake District thing). Here in the US we can buy small jars of imported Devonshire clotted cream. But I often make a substitute, adding a bit of cream cheese to heavy whipping cream and whipping it until very thick. To make your own homemade clotted cream successfully you need to start with unpasteurized (raw) cream, not always easy to get.

    I see from your gorgeous photos that you fall on the ‘cream first’ side of the great ‘cream first or jam first’ debate! So do I.

    Reply
    • Hi Jean – you know, I always put jam on first, and then cream, but I forgot this and did it the other way around this time. I’m sad to say though that after trying it this way, I do still prefer jam first, then cream :( Sorry! I love the idea of adding cream cheese to whipping cream… I never tried it… does it still whip normally?

      Reply
    • Oh, I meant to say – absolutely, that will definitely yield perfect results, though alas it’s very difficult to find. I was following a recipe which said pasteurised was fine, for this specific method, but not ultra-pasteurised. Other commenters said that you could use ultra, though it would take a little longer. I have no idea what my cream was, but since nothing happened after 15 hours I’m guessing it was ultra-ultra-hyper-mega-super-duper pasteurised… oh well :(

      Reply
  15. Hi, Charles I hope you have had a wonderful time with your friend. I am so happy to see the scones recipe here! I have always wanted to taste scones. They are so famous! Yours look even more beautiful than I thought they would and the clotted cream simply sounds heavenly… So this is something different from double cream? We have here something called “double crème de Gruyère” (the region, not the cheese) and it’s awfully fat, always more than 45% fat (before coming here the fattest cream I knew had 36%). It is very thick, sweetish and is served with fruit instead of whipped cream (this one cannot be whipped). Maybe it would be a good substitute…
    The photos are really very cute ;-) I love the old-fashioned plate here.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Sissi – I’m really interested by this “Creme de Gruyere” (excuse my lack of accents, I’m on my laptop)… I’m not sure what the fat content of clotted cream is… but this one sounds very rich and thick… I’d love to try it… I wonder if its sold in stores here?!

      I’m glad you liked the plates and cups. I really wanted an “old fashioned” English tea service and my mother has like 3 or 4 sitting in her cupboard, almost never used, so she let me have one the last time I went to England :)

      Do let me know if you try these – they’re simple, but delicious :)

      Reply
  16. Oh, my…these are perfect scones! And served with clotted cream and jam is just heavenly~

    Reply
    • Thanks Liz – I couldn’t agree more… really yummy :)

      Reply
  17. Now this we did manage to eat in the UK, I love scones and clotted cream (Big Man hated the cream so more for me!). These look so light and fluffy. It was interesting to read how clotted cream is made, I have wondered how it was done and now I know!

    Reply
    • Wah… hated clotted cream??? Well I never, I don’t think I ever met anyone who hates clotted cream before, lol :D

      Reply
  18. omg clotted cream………I go nuts for it. this looks simply delightful charles! very proper english too, I might add.

    Reply
    • Hehe, thanks Shuhan – isn’t it just awesome? Especially when the cream has that yellowy crust on top… omg!

      Reply
  19. All that effort and no clotted cream to show for it — what a shame. I actually see it here in the grocery store from time to time, although I only buy it when I am in mood to really splurge. Your scones are definitely of the English variety — they take me right back to some of the high teas that I had the summer I lived in London. They really do look just perfect Charles. I so wish that I could have one little bite right now.

    Reply
    • Oh tell me about it… I was so annoyed. I scooped up the still very liquid cream and used it for … something, not sure what. In the end all I’d wasted was a whole load of electricity and time but oh well – you live, you learn. Wish I could buy clotted cream here… maybe I can though… It’s taken me 5 years to realise that whipping cream is actually able to be found, and easily so, in France, so perhaps I”m just looking in the wrong place :D

      Reply
  20. Charles, with all of my scone experiences I have never tried scones with clotted cream and jam. I really do have to try it. Your scones look absolutely perfect! I love the first photo :)

    Reply
    • Thanks Sydney – definitely…you haven’t lived until you’ve tried scones with thick cream and jam – it’s completely awesome :D

      Reply
  21. I love everything about your scones and tradition english cream tea except the tea…sorry. I am very untraditional in that I drink tea every day but with lemon and sugar instead of milk. Even when I drink coffee…just sugar no cream.

    Reply
    • Hi Karen – you know I’ve never been a fan of black tea… it just seems so bitter, though I guess it depends on the tea, and the brew time. I definitely can’t tolerate sugar in either tea or coffee – I think it always detracts from the flavour of the drink, but don’t worry – if you ever visit me for afternoon tea, I will be kind enough to allow you to drink the tea any way you like, lol :D

      Reply
  22. I love scones way more than muffins or cupcakes and it’s the truth! Looking at this recipe I wish we have this for breakfast! Hope you had a good time with your friends. I often wish to have some relaxing time at home on weekends but that’s nearly impossible with two kids – the toys will be everywhere after I just cleaned up… ;-) I dream to have this scones with tea and just relax… maybe not another 15 years! Have a great weekend my friend!

    Reply
    • Hi Nami – it was good… normally I don’t go around Paris much at night so it was nice to be a bit of a “tourist”. I like to spend time quietly at home on the weekend too… there always seems to be something to do though :( I checked my calendar and I have nothing scheduled for this coming weekend – maybe I can organise to spend it at home relaxing! :)

      Reply
  23. These look absolutely stunning! So delicious… I like how you’ve put everything so neatly, I hate overly complicated sounding recipes that ask for intricacy… Job well done, here :)

    Reply
    • Thanks Fati – they’re very simple and quick to make and the results are very wonderful too :)

      Reply
  24. This is the first time I see yogurt listed as one of the ingredients in scone. I like the idea. Clotted cream is delicous but not too kind to the waistline.

    Reply
    • Hi Norma – I think the yoghurt makes a good substitute to the butter-milk, which is a common ingredient in scones… especially since it’s almost impossible to buy butter-milk here, so it would always mean I had to make it myself!

      Reply
  25. Hello Charles
    What a fun and full weekend you had, I am glad you had fun but you have been missed.
    I love scones and my mum makes clotted cream and it is a true treat but believe it or not I have never had clotted cream with scones.Now I can’t wait to try

    Reply
    • Hi Sawsan – I’d love to be able to make my own clotted cream – does your mother use “raw”, unpasteurised cream? I think I might be able to get some of this at a farm shop near my house – will have to try.

      Reply
  26. Ohh, I love good scones. I have never made them with yogurt, so this was an interesting twist! :) Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Thanks Yudith – they’re a very good scone – very soft and delicious… I’d definitely recommend them :)

      Reply
  27. I love a good biscuit and jam, and this looks like the English equivalent. Those yummy scones with the jam and mascarpone are a perfect breakfast or tea time snack for me. Wasn’t sure was coddled cream was so thanks for the info! What a nice guy to volunteer at the animal shelter! Hope you’re having a great weekend.

    Reply
    • Thanks MJ – I had them as a lovely breakfast with my wife on our balcony, though the weather seems to have taken a turn for the worse again. Grey skies and rain…. sigh :(

      Reply
  28. I haven’t made scones in a long time but never made them with clotted cream! LOL :) Thanks for the recipe, I know my boys will enjoy this one and like how you used yogurt, I bet it gave it a nice tart flavor. Beautiful presentation!

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa – do let me know if you give them a try! The yoghurt makes a really nice alternative to butter-milk, which is often used I think.

      Reply
  29. Being pulled around by a 50-pound dog is like being pulled around by a 200-pound man. Katherine read that once, seriously. I think the exact phrasing was something like a dog can exert force equal to four times its body weight. Ow, my brain hurts. I need a scone!

    Reply
    • Jeez, that’s a lot… some of them are so small but incredibly strong! You just wouldn’t think it to look at them!

      Reply
  30. I’m impressed that you gave it 15 hours. I don’t know if I could have even lasted the 10. Too bad it didn’t turn out because it sounds quite tasty. That said, mascarpone is amazing and I’ve never had it on a scone with jelly. I’m definitely going to need to do that soon though! Yum!!!!! Glad you’ve been enjoying some fun in the past week or so and I’m looking forward to more English delights. :)

    Reply
    • Haha, thanks Kristy – well, it wasn’t so bad – remember when my oven broke, a year or so ago? The new one I got had all these funky digital features like auto turn-off, auto turn-on, about 10 different cooking modes (there’s even one for cooking frozen meals, lol) – so I didn’t need to waste time standing by – luckily I could just set the timer to X hours hence and then go to bed :D

      Hope you get a chance to try the scones – let me know if you do! :)

      Reply
  31. Lovely photos Charles! I’ve been away too and I miss blogging but sometimes life gets in the way. It is such an honorable thing to volunteer your time for those poor pups. I’d cry the entire time if I could not bring them home with me. So sad but what a wonderful thing for you and your wife to spend time with them. And hey – exercise for you at the same time! Your scones sound delicious – when exactly is tea time?

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Linda – it’s so sad to see them… they’re all barking and going crazy when they see you holding a leash, and then we take out two… two out of about 30 or 40 dogs. We just can’t take them all out… although we’d like to so much :(

      Reply
  32. Oh my! These look lovely! Can’t wait to try the real clotted cream. I’m sharing this on my facebook page. Thanks for posting :)

    ~Melissa

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for the share Melissa – hope you can give it a try… it’s a delicious afternoon treat! :)

      Reply