One of my favourite experiences over here is the Cream Tea, and you will find them all over the country. Hot pots of tea (and they can be herbal teas if you wish) served up with flakey fruited scones and butter, along with pots of fruit jam and clotted cream. What a delicious treat this is and such a quintessentially British experience!
The scones are served cold. You can choose to spread them with butter or not as you wish. Then there is the age old question to answer . . . cream on the bottom, jam on top? Jam on the bottom, cream on top? The answer depends greatly on where you live, with opinions varying greatly from one area to another!
More important than the jam and cream and tea however is the quality of the scone. If the scone isn't just right, nothing else will be no matter what you put on first or last.
I do admit that the first time I indulged, I was a bit surprised that they used fruited scones . . . with jam and cream? It didn't seem proper for some reason . . . surely the scone should be plain . . .
But guess what? It works beautifully. Fruited scones are a must! With sultanas, not currants or cherries. You want a good scone. You don't want a scone with the overwhelming flavour of baking powder or baking soda . . . you want a scone that is flakey and sturdy at the same time . . . and buttery without being greasy.
With just the right amount of sticky sultanas. Not too many and not too few. I admit to liking the additional crunch of sugar on top of my scones, but its not an absolute given.
These are the perfect scone. Nice and light and flaky . . . with a nice ratio of sultanas . . .
I like strawberry jam with mine, but you can have whatever jam you want. Raspberry is also nice.
When it comes to which goes on top or bottom, the jam or the cream, I'm not bothered. Both taste equally delicious to me!
*Fruited Scones*Makes 10
75g of cold butter (5 1/2 TBS)
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Butter a large baking tray. Alternately line it with greaseproof paper.
Measure the flour into a bowl along with the baking powder. (Pour the flour in from on high to aerate it.) Whisk together. Drop in the cold butter in bits. Using your fingertips rub the butter in quickly until the mixture resembles fine dry bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar and raisins.
Beat the eggs. Remove and set 2 TBS aside. Add 100ml (scant 1/2 cup) of the milk to the eggs and beat together. Add this to the flour mixture. Mix together with the rounded end of a butter knife to form a soft but slightly tacky dough. Only add the remainder of the milk if your dough is too dry and you want to absorbe any dry bits in the bowl. The dough should NOT be too wet, but not too dry either. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently a couple of times to bring well together. Gently pat out to 1 inch thick. Using a sharp round 3 inch cutter, cut out rounds, using a direct up and down motion. Do not twist the cutter. Place the cut out scones an inch or so apart on the baking sheet. Gather any trimmings together and repeat until you have 10 scones.
Brush the tops of the scones with the reserved beaten egg and sprinkle with a bit of granulated sugar. Don't let the egg drip down the sides.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until risen and golden on top and bottoms. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container. Best eaten on the day. Any leftovers can be frozen for several months.
This is the perfect scone, but don't take my word for it. Bake them for yourself and see if I'm not telling the truth! Bon Appetit!