Forget the steam engine, the industrial revolution, or heck even the English language. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest Great Britain's greatest contribution to the world will always be their afternoon tea ritual and subsequently all the delicious nibbles associated with it. Okay, so I probably exaggerated a teensy tiny bit but the fact of the matter is, I really really like afternoon tea (and morning tea). There's nothing better than taking some time out in the middle of a busy day to just sit and enjoy a quiet spot of tea with homemade scones. It's one of my greatest indulgences and a daily ritual I uphold with the utmost importance. It's right up there alongside wearing underwear and brushing my teeth (yes I have a problem).
Now when it comes to the world of scones, they exist in every form imaginable. Savory, sweet, citrus, cheese, raisins, pumpkin, potato, bacon, onion, the list goes on. But my favourite way to have them is the traditional way- plain with clotted cream and jam (strawberry jam that is). This recipe is a slight variation on the basic scone. The use of cream rather than butter results in a scone that still remains soft even when cold (fellow scone aficionados will understand the importance of this statement). I also find by adding fresh strawberries to the usual cream and jam mixture to give the scones a little tartness and a better bite. Try it out next time, you'll see what I mean.
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
4 cups plain flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp caster sugar
1. Preheat oven to 200C degrees and line tray with baking paper.
2. Sift flour, sugar and a pinch of salt into large bowl.
3. Combine cream, milk and vanilla extract and add to dry ingredients.
4. Using a flat-bladded knife, slowly 'cut' the mixture together. The key is to combine but not over mix.
5. Roll out the dough onto a clean surface, knead until smooth and flatten to approximately 25mm thickness. Note, kneading too much will result in a tough texture.
6. Use cookie cutters to cut each scone out and transfer to prepared baking tray. Lightly sprinkle flour over each scone.
7. Bake for 10 minutes or until scones have risen and are slightly coloured. Cover with a tea towel and leave the scones on the tray for 10 minutes.
* Recipe yields roughly 20 scones 5cm in size.
1 handful of fresh strawberries sliced
2 tbsp strawberry jam
2/3 cup of double cream
1. Spoon strawberry jam into bowl and stir till softened.
2. Add cream to jam mixture and lightly swirl to combine. Do not over mix.
3. Add sliced strawberries to mixture.
4. Pile onto warm scones, prepare to scoff down the lot.
* You can substitute fresh whipped cream for double cream.