Monday, December 28, 2009

Please Come For Tea And Scones

Maybe it's the English in me or maybe it is the sheer comfort of tea and scones. I think it is both. Afternoon tea in Greenwich, England last week just warmed me to the soul. Scones with clotted cream or whipped cream and jam are referred to as Cream Tea. Since the USDA frowns when I bring clotted cream back into the US, I whip unsalted butter until it is light and creamy to substitute this delight. Strawberry or raspberry jam are traditionally served with the scones and cream. A nice hot cup of tea never had better company. Fruited scones have raisins or currants which I'm not crazy about. Today I tried golden raisins, which have a milder flavor, and I liked them. You may also put dried cranberries or cherries, or fresh blackberries or blueberries in them. They are not traditional, but they sure are good! There are many scone recipes around with different theories and mine comes from the old American standby, "The Joy of Cooking." I know a winner when I taste it.

(Adapted from the "Joy of Cooking")

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Sift together in a large bowl:
1 13/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut into these ingredients, until the size of small peas, using a pastry blender or 2 knives:
1/4 cup cold butter

Beat in a separate bowl:
2 eggs

Reserve 2 tablespoons of this mixture. Stir into the flour/butter mixture and beat in:
1/3 cup cream
1/3 cup raisins, currants, cranberries or any other dried fruit that you desire

Put in any dried fruit and stir. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid into it. Combine with a few swift strokes. Handle the dough as little as possible, or it will be tough. Place on a lightly floured board. Pat into a 3/4-1 inch thick circle. Cut into 2 inch rounds or pie shaped wedges. Brush with the reserved beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.Place on a greased or nonstick baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.Makes 12 scones. Serve with whipped unsalted butter and jam.
Scone recipe click here.

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La Table De Nana said...

Oh lala now I would like a scone and a scone cutter..forgive my covetousness..
I know that shalt not covet..but I never even knew they existed and it looks old and loved..
I crave a scone..!
I used golden raisins in our muffins this morning w/ goji berries..I plumped them..I think in scones I prefer unplumped:) You?

Lovely post ..Have a great evening..will your daughter come home soon?I hope so for you.

La Table De Nana said...

I keep thinking it's an egg cup:)

2 Stews said...

Ah Monique, my curious scone cutter is actually a biscuit cutter. I've had it for a very long time, so yes it is well used and loved :-)

Hmmm, plumped or not...I guess I didn't think about it. They really tasted just right, so unplumped it is. They're probably the only thing unplumped around here after the holidays!!

Sadly (for me), my daughter is vacationing in Thailand now for her Christmas break. She won't be home until October :-(( I'm hoping to get to Seoul, but it IS half way around the world! We miss her, but are happy for her adventure.

Thanks for the comments and Happy New Year!


2 Stews said... does look like an egg cup! The end is rounded, though and if you look closely it has a hole to let the air pass while cutting out the dough. An egg cup would be interesting to use, you out of the box thinker!


La Table De Nana said...

Thanks's lovely your cutter..I hope you get to Seoul soon..!!I am going to make your scones and the wee cheesecakes soon..I just have to get some of these shortbreads and gingerbread out of the house and off my petites thighs :) first!

Ry @ Sotto Il Monte Vineyards said...

Where ever did you find the scone cutter? I'll have to look for one. I love afternoon tea. Such a nice way to rejuvenate for the rest of the day. My favorite spot to have afternoon tea is The St. Francis hotel on Union Square in San Francisco. They do up a lovely High Tea.

Melanie said...

That is a gorgeous biscuit/scone cutter!! I am a tea drinker myself and those scones look absolutely heavenly.

Kathy Walker said...

Tea and scones, what a lovely way to relax! I too, adore the beautiful scone (biscuit) cutter!

Helen said...

Whipping unsalted butter! I never considered that .... and creme tea in the UK is my all time favorite thing to do when I visit.

Laura said...

I have found clotted cream at my local specialty shop. I wonder if they did something weird to it to placate the USDA? Anyway, I will make these scones soon! Perhaps a New Years Day treat.

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

Your post is bringing out the English in me! I would love Cream Tea right about now (though I think my timing may be off - it may be time for high tea??!) ;-D

I'm coveting your biscuit cutter, too, Diane. Beautiful!

Linda said...

Love that cutter...
There is nothing better than a cream tea on a cold winter afternoon...
Yours looks lovely!

2 Stews said...

Ry....I'm embarrassed to say that I've had the cutter for so long that I can't remember if I bought it in Mexico or at a local specialty store...crazy, I know. I haven't had tea at the St. Francis, but have it on my "bucket list". I've had it all around London and sometimes my favorite places are determined by where I am at the moment and who I'm with, and of course, my mood.

Helen...I tried mixing cream in while I whipped the butter and they are like mixing oil and water. Just whipped butter is the best.

Amongst the Oaks...the reason the USDA is fussy about bringing in the clotted cream has to do with Mad Cow and other bovine diseases. They told me that I could bring it in if it was from a farm certified to be "safe". The problem is that if it doesn't state that on the label, they take it from you. So the clotted cream from your store is probably just certified and not suspect for other reasons. So happily enjoy it!

In my dreams my favorite place to have tea would be with each and every one of you :-))

Thanks everyone for the comments.


Ellie said...

Oh, these look marvelous! I just LOVE tea and scones....Am always looking for that one perfect scone recipe. I think I will try these...

Zurin said...

that is a lovely biscuit cutter. scones are so English! yours look perfect and so inviting :) happy new year!:)

Kate at Serendipity said...

Diane, put me on the list for biscuit cutter info too! That is one gorgeous tool. I've never seen one like that before.

These scones look wonderful. Odd, I used this recipe recently too--I have a neighbor who had heard about scones but had never had them (they don't exist in Belgium, sadly), so I made some for her. It's a great recipe. Thanks for posting it!

Re: pecans. I'd love to meet you in Paris or Brux, with or without pecans. Maybe next time your'e in Paris we could get Barbara to come down from Brittany and I could hop over and we'll have tea somewhere. What do you think?

Happy New Year, Diane. I'm glad I found your blog this year.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Tea and scones? I don't mind if I do! They look darling! Like Monique, I thought it was an egg cup :))) Whatever, because your scones are PERFECT!

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful 2010, Diane. May all good things come to you! :)


artis1111 said...

My friends and Inlove to go to the tea room near us,but I think it may closw. One friend went in to get some tea and they were out, and didn't know if they would get more. We have done teas at our homes too. One friend had a lovely Christmas tea for us. Kathy

2 Stews said...

Kate..that sounds great! I'd love to meet Barbara, too. It may be the end of January before I get to Paris. Let's talk :-))

Happy New Year.....Diane

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Perfection Diane...and now I'm craving scones.

Thank you for the tip about whipping the unsalted butter; sometimes the jarred imported stuff we get here just doesn't do it for me. :p

I have a strong feeling these will be on the menu New Years' morning. :)

Nancy Cook said...

I am also a big fan of clotted cream on my scones. I have had some success with a recipe where you put heavy whipping cream in a double boiler and simmer it. A golden crust will form on the top of the cream. Skim this periodically into a small ramekin. The process takes a while, but once you get a fair amount of "crust" separated, pour the remaining cream on top and refrigerate it, it will thicken further. Voila- you have clotted cream!

Anonymous said...

I love scones, and dream of High Tea with an assortment of scones, jams and biscuits. Never tried clotted cream, but that last picture makes me want to try it - NOW! ;)

2 Stews said... clever are you to come up with your version of clotted cream! I am definitely trying this. I am envious of your last name...Cook!


La Table De Nana said...

Hi Diane..they were and are delicious..thumbs up here and thank you..

Thibeault's Table said...

Scones are a favourite here. Your scones look just perfect Diane. I absolutely love your biscuit cutter.


Mrs Ergül said...

These are very beautiful scones! I love how much they rose!