What would afternoon tea be like without warm scones and way too much jam and cream? Has such a delicious dish been surounded by controversy. Do you prefer you Scones Cornish Style or Devonshire Style? Do you say Scone as in tone or Scone as in ton? Which is correct? For the British, scones are serious business.
The Great Cream Tea Debate
Scones are an essential part of the much more classy meal known as cream tea. Cream tea is a contentious topic, filled with controversial questions like, “Does the jam come before the clotted cream, or after?” Though individual habits may differ, the common wisdom is that in Cornwall, the jam comes first, then the cream on top of that, while its next-door neighbors in Devonshire put the cream first, then the jam. Queen Elizabeth II appears to be in the Cornish camp. Palace garden parties always involved jam-first, cream-second scones, no doubt horrifying a significant subset of her subjects while vindicating others. Perhaps we should find out how the Queen pronouces Scones and settle the argument once and for all!
With this recipe making the perfect scone is easy. I had never been a very succesful scone baker until I was given this recipe by an incredible baker who lives in Australia.
Foolproof Classic Scones
- 500 g self-raising flour
- ¼ C (60 ml) castor sugar
- 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
- ½ tsp (2,5 ml) bicarb of soda
- ½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt
- 100 g butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 C (250 ml) buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
- For the Egg Wash
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) milk
Preheat the oven to 220 ºC.
In a large mixing bowl add the flour, castor sugar, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt and stir to combine.
Add the butter and work it through the flour with your fingers until it is evenly dispersed.
In another bowl mix the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Add the wet mix to the dry ingredients and gently fold together until there is no more dry flour. Do not over mix the dough!
Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface and gently bring the dough together into a circle about the size of a dinner plate and about 5 cm thick.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out rounds and place them onto a baking paper lined tray.
Bring the dough together again if need be and cut out as many rounds as you can get out of the dough.
Mix the beaten egg with the milk and brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash.
Bake at 220 ºC for 15 minutes.
While the scones bake, add the cream, castor sugar and vanilla to a mixing bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form.
Allow the scones to cool slightly and serve with butter, jam and whipped cream.
If you like baking try these easy recipes:
Turn your afternoon tea into a celebration. Serve Prosecco. We chose a Sacchetto Col de L’Utia Prosecco Brut 2018. Crisper and creamier than Cava, with a softer fizz than Champagne, this luxury drop has all the melt-in-the-mouth quality you’d expect from a world-famous winemaker. It’s full of fruit and delicate refreshing bubbles. Perfect for parties, weddings, or just making your Friday night fish and chip supper sing. Available from Naked Wines.