This year is all about being British!
With the Jubilee, the Euros and of course the Olympics, it’s the perfect time to celebrate everything that makes us proud to be British and with that, I’ve decided to give you this traditional recipe ... The Cream Tea.
I have to admit that I love making scones.There’s something about the wet dough that gets stuck to your fingers that makes me feel like a child again. I remember my mum letting me mix flour and water together and getting in a right mess. But at least nowadays, the final product tastes a bit better.
Now, there’s a little disagreement going on between Devon and Cornwall as to where the cream tea originated but there is evidence to suggest that the tradition of eating bread with cream and jam already existed at Tavistock Abbey in Devon in the 11th century. What makes this even more special for me is that my grandfather was born in Tavistock, so every time I eat a cream tea, it makes me think of him!
There’s another little disagreement between the two counties, too – about which way around you put the jam and cream; The Cornish way is jam on the bottom and cream on top, and the Devon way is cream on the bottom and jam on top. Each to their own but I’m with Cornwall on this one!
Emma’s Top Tips:
Keep all the ingredients as cold as possible.
Scones like to bake at the top of the oven. If you’re baking more than one tray, ideally bake them separately, but if you’re in a hurry pop them both in and they’ll be fine. You may just find that the tops ones will rise a little higher
When brushing the egg/milk mixture on the top of the scones, try not to let any drip down the sides. It’s not the end of the world if it does, but it may affect the way they rise.
VERY IMPORTANT: Handle the dough as little as possible. The less you handle it, the better they will rise.
450g self-raising flour
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
75g butter cut into cubes
50g caster sugar
2 large eggs
approx 225ml milk
Preheat oven to 225 degrees centigrade (or gas mark 7) and lightly grease two baking sheets/trays
Put the flour and baking power in a large bowl and mix together
Add the butter and rub together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Keep you hand as cold as possible as you don’t want to melt the butter
Stir in the caster sugar
Whisk the eggs and add the milk then put about 2 tablespoons aside in a cup for later
Slowly add the egg/milk mixture to the dry ingredients stirring until you have a soft, wet dough
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten to a thickness of 2cm
Using a 5cm fluted cutter, stamp out the scones making sure not to twist the cutter as this will affect the way they rise in the oven.
Gently push the remaining dough together and repeat the process again until you have used it all up
Arrange on the baking trays and brush with a little of the leftover egg/milk mixture
Leave to rest for a few minutes in order for the baking powder to start working
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until well risen and golden,
Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool, covered with a clean tea towel to keep them moist
Once they have cooled down, serve as soon as possible. Cut them in half and fill with jam and cream (or your filling of choice)
I’m a media consultant by day, baker by night, and I will be sharing my memories and favourite recipes with you each fortnight. Follow me on Twitter (EmmasLilBakery) and be my Facebook friend (EmmasLittleBakery).