A pretty cardboard stand (try Asda or Paperchase) inspired my latest twist on the ubiquitous scone. I served a fresh batch with lightly whipped cream and freshly cut strawberries. No clotted cream, no jam. A very enjoyable summer version of a British classic. Version in French here!
Use whipping cream and whip it into peaks with a dash of vanilla extract and a spoonful of caster sugar.
This month’s idea – while waiting for summer to start…
>Yesterday afternoon, I set up a pretty table in the garden shade under the canvas sails we put up in the summer and served our family’s favourite meal at 4: A proper Devon cream tea. The sort of food that makes you grateful (for once) to live in a country that is still able to produce the kind of thick golden clotted cream you long for at tea-time with a hot spelt and buttermilk scone and some light-infused strawberry jam.
But scones don’t always have to be sweet. They can be savoury and complement perfectly a round and rich champagne with a brioche hint or a lemony dry white. Last week at a tasting party, I served my usual scone recipe but put in the mix a sprinkle of Herbes de provence and some cracked pepper plus a chunk of grated mature cheddar. When the scones were baked, I sliced them in two and put a dollop of mascarpone inside. The two cheeses combine for a creamy, rustic taste and nobody can resist this duet! That was the only time I chose to be disloyal to English clotted cream with an italian contender. It was worth it.
- Self-raising flour 200 g
- 2 small spoonful of baking powder (4 if using non-enriched flour)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 spoonful of bicarbonate of soda
- Butter 50g
- Sugar 40g
- Buttermilk or fermented milk 150 ml
This one of my most cherished recipes because I searched for it for many years!
Scones are the simplest but also the most coveted and celebrated of English cakes and for years I had been baking them in Paris for my friends and looking for the definitive recipe… Until my future mother-in-law baked me the lightest and yummiest scones, years later in Surrey, and kindly let me have this version of the most English of English cakes.
I recently baked a tray of them for tea with my girlfriends at Christmas and I post this for Caroline who asked me to do so!
Start by mixing all the ingredients but the milk and work through them with the tip of your fingers until they form a light powder.
Add the buttermilk or milk and knead lightly with a wooden spoon. It must be moist but not too sticky. Roll out on a floured marble surface and make a thick slab then cut it with a round cutter in as many shapes as you want.
Each scone must be nice and thick: about 1 inch or 2 centimetres.
Put them on an oven tray dusted with flour and put in a hot oven (200 degree Celsius) for 10mn or until nicely raised and brown.
Serve warm with clotted cream and strawberry jam – I used mascarpone instead of the golden clotted cream when in France.
Serve with a cup of hot tea and enjoy!