Scones and a traditional English Cream Tea
Serves: Makes ~8 Scones
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! 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
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer the scones to a greased baking sheet and brush with a little milk before placing into the preheated oven.
- 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.
- While the scones are still warm, serve with clotted cream (or mascarpone!), strawberry or raspberry jam and a nice cup of tea! Enjoy