Introduction: Scones for Cream Teas
I'm going to be concentrating on the scones, but will give you the full "recipe" for a good Cream Tea at the end. A Cream Tea is a light, afternoon tea consisting of tea, scones, clotted cream and jam (jelly to our American cousins).
To use whipped cream in a Cream Tea is said to be 'utterly improper' but if you can't find clotted cream, why spoil the opportunity to have a Cream Tea, or even a variation of, if you only have whipped cream available to you?
For your scones, you will need:
- 75g of chilled butter, cut into cubes - plus extra to grease baking tray
- 350g Self Raising flour - plus extra to dust surface when rolling out
- 1.5 t-sp baking powder
- 30g Caster sugar (superfine sugar, but not powdered!)
- 75g Sultanas (see below for alternatives) *
- Approx 150ml milk - plus extra to brush on top of scones before cooking
- 2 Large free range eggs - beaten
- Clotted Cream **
- Jam (Jelly)
- A mixing bowl
- A rolling pin - see step if you don't have a rolling pin
- Cutters - you can use a cup or glass if you don't have cutters
For a weights, measures and temperature conversion chart, see here
You can use any of the following:
- Nothing, leave all dried fruits out
- Dried cranberries
** Taking into account what I mentioned earlier about clotted cream and whipped cream, I'm not ashamed to say that I'm using whipped cream, simply because clotted cream was not available to me on the day of baking.
Step 1: Rub Flour and Butter Together
Pre-heat your oven to Gas #7 / 220 C / 425 F
In a chilled mixing bowl, rub together the butter cubes with the flour and the baking powder until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Step 2: Add Fruit, Sugar and Eggs
Add into the mix both the sugar and sultanas.
Add both the eggs and, using a wooden spoon, mix well.
If the mix is too stiff, add the milk a little at a time. On average, I end up using about 100ml of milk. Do not make the mixture too wet.
Your mix should be able to 'clean' the bowl when mixed to form a ball - see next step
Step 3: Mix to a Ball and Rest
Once you have added the wet ingredients, you should be able to use your hand to mould the mix into a ball.
It should not be sticky but should be able to clean the bowl of all its ingredients.
Once this is done, wrap your ball in some cling film or place a tea towel over the bowl and place the mix and the bowl in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
You can now take a rest yourself, or do the dishes
Step 4: Roll Out
Turn the chilled mixture out onto a floured work surface and roll out so they are about 2cm thick and, using your scone cutter, cup, glass, or mug, cut shapes out
If you don't have a rolling pin, shape and pat flat before cutting.
Handle as little as you possibly can.
Step 5: Bake
Once rolled out, place on your greased baking tray and brush with milk. You can brush with beaten egg if you prefer.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 mins
Step 6: Allow to Cool
Allow to cool completely before eating
Step 7: Your Cream Tea
You will need:
- Tea - I adore Earl Grey, but house tea is fine. And nowhere does it say you shouldn't change the tea for a coffee.
- Clotted Cream
- Jam (Jelly) / preserve
'Proper' Cream Tea etiquette would be as follows:
- A lose leaf tea is best
- Allow tea to brew for at least three minutes
- Tea before milk, never milk before tea
- Once stirred, your spoon should be placed on your saucer
- A good scone should easily break apart, you shouldn't have to cut it in half
- Spoon the clotted cream and jam onto your plate before spreading onto your scone
Check out the big debate on next step
Step 8: The Final Step and Big Debate
There has always been the debate of what goes first, jam or cream?
Now, etiquette would dictate that it is jam before cream. But you know, I'm a rebel and, as you can see, I'm a cream before jam kinda lass :)
So, it is at this point that I will apologise to all the traditionalists that are reading this, but I love mine this way
Why not let me know your preference.
Most importantly - ENJOY!