WHAT’S THE PROPER WAY TO EAT A SCONE? Break off a small piece, spread it with clotted cream, eat…and repeat. Of course, I’m talking about English Cream Scones here — not the frumpy American things which are stuffed with cranberries, currants, or raisins. I first enjoyed traditional cream scones during Afternoon Tea at a friend’s grace and favor flat in Kensington Palace some years ago. I couldn’t wait to make my own batch of these light and delicious gems the moment I returned home:
English Cream Scones
Ingredients for about 10 scones, 2-inches in diameter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, quartered lengthwise, and then diced into cubes
1 cup heavy cream
Pour flour, baking powder, and sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor; blend for about 5 seconds.
Remove the lid of the processor, and scatter the cubes of butter on top of the flour mixture. Replace lid, and pulse 10-12 times just to break up the butter.
Transfer this mix into a medium-size bowl, add the cup of heavy cream, and blend briefly with a spoon. Take care not to over-mix.
Now dump this wet, sticky dough onto a floured, cloth-covered board or a piece of lightly-floured marble. Kneed 5 times — not more — and then roll out the dough into a 1/2-inch thick circle.
Cut out rounds using a 2-inch diameter buscuit cutter dipped in flour. Place each round about 2-inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat.
Bake on the middle oven rack for 12-15 minutes, or until tops turn lightly golden. Cool briefly on a wire rack before serving.
I hope you will try these English Cream Scones. I find them a superior alternative to the usual cranberried clumps that most bakeries sell.
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