When we were in England last month we had several “cream teas” … which if you don’t know means having some tea with scones, jam and clotted cream. Mom really loved them.
We had one at the Eden Project… HUGE scones made right there in their kitchens, with as much jam and clotted cream as you could load on as it was a self-serve restaurant. Honestly the scone was the size of a bread and butter plate! Anne took photos on her camera phone… if she ever sends me them I will post!
Then we had another at the picturesque Inn I mentioned in my post here. The scones here were smaller, more yellow (fresh butter in them!) and hot from the oven.
Oh and clotted cream. Sounds slightly disturbing doesn’t it? We didn’t know what it exactly was… I get what a “clot” is so figured the cream was lumpy…
On my last visit to Anne’s her mom Jill had some clotted cream for me one night with dessert. It came from the store in a plastic tub in a solid form somewhat like butter and you spread it on your scone… it tastes like cream that just missed turning into butter. Not really sweet, but rich and creamy. I thought it was a bit like mascarpone cheese but not as rich, but now that I’ve had it “a few” times I say it is more like a sweet creamy butter.
It is made by applying indirect heat to milk, then when it cools the “clots” rise to the surface. Apparently if it were sold in North America it would be labelled as butter. But I’ve never seen it for sale here and it is not exported out of the UK due to the shelf life.
I decided today that I was going to make “proper” scones. I make baking powder biscuits all the time so figured it would be similar. So I went to my cookbook collection to check out what the differences are between a biscuit and a scone.
So, pretty similar but the scones contain eggs and cream/milk. Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter cut in with a pastry blender, then two beaten eggs and cream, mix into a soft dough, dump on a floured counter, shape into a flat disk and cut into rough shapes, bake at 450F.
So… firstly, this recipe is small. Made a tiny amount of dough… went and re-read the recipe and it says it makes 10-12 2″x3″ rectangles… right… mine were about 5″. Who the heck wants a 2″ scone???? So mine were a little thinner than I had thought they would be.
Secondly, 450F in my oven is way hotter than it should be. I know it is a hot oven, but figured I’d follow instructions as it was the first time doing this recipe… Should have gone with my gut. The recipe said 12-15 minutes so I set it for 12 (because, as you know, this is a hot oven)… I was careful to keep an eye on it… at about 8 minutes the bottoms were turning dark… I mean, just seconds from burnt on the bottom, but the tops weren’t even changing colour yet. I turned the oven down to 350F and left it open for a few seconds to cool down, then put them back in for another three minutes. By then the tops were starting to get a little golden on the edges so I pulled them out.
They looked okay. I thought they would rise more.
Thirdly, they are tough. Not horrible, but certainly not fluffy like the ones we had in England. My baking powder biscuits are a closer match to those than these are. So, next time I’ll just make my regular biscuits.
BUT… they were still yummy! Warm with whipped cream (we don’t have any clotted) and raspberry jam!
We’ve done ours the Cornish way, jam first, then the cream … in Devon they put the cream on first, then the jam.
And now the clean-up…