I ask you, what does it take to get a real English Scone in this country? Those hockey pucks that our stores and eateries have masquerading as scones are an insult.
Okay, I know. I’m sounding like a bit of a snob. And while there isn’t another snobby bone in my body– when it comes to scones, I just want the real thing.
Why? You ask.
Well, long long ago and far far away, back when I lived in England, I worked in an English Tea Room. I made scones all day long, so as to have the bulk of them ready to serve by 4 pm for Afternoon Tea. (High Tea or “meat tea” is actually dinner.)
And they were petite little wonders. Heavenly. Light. Delicate. Sumptuous.
In other words, the opposite of hockey pucks.
So, when I get homesick for a Belinda’s Tea Room scone, I whip up a batch of these.
- 2 cups Flour (preferably cake flour)
- 2 Tsp Baking Powder
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 4 Tbs cold Butter
- 1/4 cup Sugar (1/3 cup Sugar if you plan on eating them with jam and cream)
- 1/2 cup Milk
(Some Brits will use Buttermilk instead of Milk, and some will even add an egg. Try a few variations to see which you like best.)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
- Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and enough milk to mix to a soft dough (but not wet or overly sticky).
- Turn onto a floured surface, knead lightly (don’t over mix) and roll out to a 1 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. (You may also just gently form some balls in your hands and place on baking sheet, like drop biscuits.)
- Position rack high in the oven and Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 10-15 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
Break open, spread on some clotted cream, and add a dab of jam on top. (If you don’t feel like making clotted cream, just whip some heavy cream until thick.)
Serve on pretty china, with a strong cup of tea. Add milk (not half & half) and sugar to taste. The only thing left to do is sit down and enjoy your real English Afternoon Tea. Pinky sticking out is optional. :)