Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cream tea and scones

Here are the essential components of a cream tea:
(Scones, strawberry jam and cream... Yum!)

Let's recreate it, shall we?

For the scones (recipe from here)

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour.
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup currants (optional)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.

2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.

3. If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in currants. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add currants and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.

4. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form scones by either:
  • Pressing the dough into an 8-inch cake pan, then turning the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, cutting the dough into 8 wedges with either a knife
  • Or patting the dough onto a lightly floured work surface into a 3/4-inch thick circlecutting pieces with a biscuit cutter, and pressing remaining scraps back into another piece and cutting until dough has been used up. (Be warned if you use this latter method, the scones that are made from the remaining scraps will be much lumpier and less pretty, but taste fine. As in, I understand why they suggested the first method.)
6. Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

How to serve them:

Split the scones in half, cover with a thick layer of strawberry jam, top with large spoonful of Devonshire cream (heavy whipped cream works too), eat right away with a cup of tea and milk.

Enjoy it friends!

See more pictures from our English tea party here

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