As someone who has quite a bit of English blood, I am not ashamed to say that English food is not the greatest. For the most part, it’s bland and pretty basic. When I traveled to Europe in high school, I lost 10 pounds in the few days that we spent in England, because the food they served us at the hotel was so bad. However, that doesn’t mean you should completely write off English fare! There are still some tasty treats that are the exception to the rule. Scones are just one example. These delightful little cakes are leavened with baking powder, as opposed to tea cakes, which use yeast as their leavening agent. Scones are usually served at tea time, but I think they are the perfect addition to brunch. Whenever I make scones, I always serve it with Devonshire clotted cream. Clotted cream used to be called Cornish cream, as it was commonly made in Cornwall, England’s mining country located on the southwest tip of the British Isle. It is the result of heating cream indirectly with steam using a double boiler or a water bath, and then allowing it to cool slowly so that the thick clots of cream rise to the top. The result is a thick, sweet cream that some Americans might liken to butter.
Martha Stewart’s Superb Scones
This is a recipe of Martha Stewart’s that my mom found. The scones are best served warm with a jar of clotted cream and a jar of your favorite berry jam. I prefer using homemade strawberry or raspberry jam. Simply cut the scones in half lengthwise, apply a generous layer of clotted cream, followed by a dollop of jam, and enjoy!
- 1 3/4 cups flour, sifted
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 large egg yolk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Sift flour, baking powder, and sugar together into a medium bowl. Rub butter into flour mixture with your fingers to form a fine crumble. Make a well in the center and add the milk. Knead gently together, being careful not to over mix. The dough will be sticky. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 3/4-inch thick disc about 8 inches in diameter. Using a pizza wheel or a large Chef’s knife, cut the disc into six equal triangles. Transfer these to the prepared pan, and brush tops with egg yolk. Allow scones to stand for 15 minutes before putting them into the oven. Bake until the scones have risen and are lightly golden on top, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm with clotted cream and your favorite jam.