Adventures in Tea: Scones

I used a round biscuit cutter for these scones.
I used a round biscuit cutter for these cranberry scones made from scratch.

Scones are quintessential British tea.  You can skip the sandwiches and cakes, but scones are a must!

Scones can be butter scones or cream scones; plain or with nuts and/or dried fruit.  I like to make smaller round scones, about two inches in diameter, but they often are made in a larger size such as 2 1/2 or 3 inches.  They often come in triangle shapes, which are easy to do if you pat the dough out into a circle, and then cut wedges.  I like to use a fluted cutter, but I haven’t been able to find it lately.

The traditional way to cut scones. These were made from a cranberry orange scone mix with orange drizzle added after baking.
The traditional way to cut scones. These were made from a cranberry orange scone mix with orange drizzle added after baking.

Cream scones are made with a light or heavy cream, which contains butter fat.  Butter scones contain butter as well as milk.  Either work just fine.  My favorite recipe uses a cream scone batter mixed with dried mixed fruit that has been soaked in Cointreau for 15 to 20 minutes.  The orange flavor really punches up the flavor.

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Adding a cream wash with a sprinkle of sugar before baking helps to brown the tops and add a sweet, crunchy layer.

Once the scones have been placed on the baking sheet, they normally get a glaze.  The recipe may call for an egg wash, cream wash or cream wash sprinkled with sugar.

Butter and strawberry jam on a scone. Butter is not traditional; strawberry jam is very traditional.
Butter and strawberry jam on a scone. Butter is not traditional; strawberry jam is very traditional.

To serve scones, I think the most common way to serve them is with clotted cream and strawberry jam.  Devonshire cream, whipped cream or even butter will work along with your favorite jam.  I had a rose petal jam at tea in London that was amazing, but I digress!  I think butter and honey would be amazing as well, but just writing that may get me booted from the Anglophile Society.

Jam and whipped cream filled scones...yum!
Jam and whipped cream filled scones…yum!

Scones should be served warm, but let me tell you that they will be just as readily eaten on the second day…if they last that long!

A perfect tea.
A perfect tea.

The scones in these photos were made using a cream scone recipe mixed with dried sweetened cranberries that had been soaked in Cointreau.  I had thought about adding almonds, but I only had whole almonds in the house.  They were delightful just as they were.

If you can make a biscuit, you can make a scone.  And if you make scones, you might as well put the kettle on for some tea.  While you are at it, invite me and a few friends over!

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