High Tea! Scones

As promised more Anglo-Saxon flavours… English high tea with scones!

Things to do before you die…
An English high tea is definitely on that list.
Scones with clotted cream and jam… Delicious!
Especially if it’s served to you by a very uptight English lady; pronouncing the cHlottHHed cHream with the posh hyper corrected ‘h’. It’s a ceremony rather than a meal.

I treasure my childhood memories of this highly recommended English tradition.
Sailing the English coast we would discover beautiful spots to enjoy ‘cream tea’.

When it’s sunny weather (not a given in English summers) we would go for a long walk along the cliffs and fields.
Or we would row up the river.
And at the end of such a trip we would indulge in a high tea at the local pub or tearoom.

My favourite high tea is in Smugglers Cottage up the River Fal, Cornwall, UK.
The cottage dates from the 15th century.
Cruising up the river Fal to the cottage is just magical. The heavy rain fall makes for dark green hills kissing the water. It’s untouched by human kind. There is only the odd boathouse or cottage here and there. And then suddenly at the next turn a huge tanker rises between the hills. You arrive at Carrick Roads.

“…This large waterway was created after the Ice age from an ancient valley which flooded as the melt waters caused the sea level to rise dramatically. This created a large natural harbour; the third largest natural harbour in the world…”Very impressive such a tanker in these mystical surroundings.
Only a few miles further you have Smugglers’ cottage. It was requisitioned during the Second World War. The beach underneath it was to embark the troops and the equipment for D-Day.
Today the ghosts of this memorable day are still present in the air. You feel the frenzy and husky excitement that went through these soldiers mind. With our little zodiac we land at the beach. We step up the hills to the rightly named Smugglers cottage.
The best high tea is served. Most of the time inside cosy and warm or when sun is out in the beautiful terraced gardens.
A delicious brewed tea accompanies the golden baked scones. A dollop of cold clotted cream makes for the lusciousness. A spoonful of jam makes for the sweet tartness. The best scones are flaky and buttery.

To obtain this it’s very important not to overwork your dough!
The scones can be made with any kind of filling you like. I personally prefer the little black raisins, the Zante currants.

Be sure to give this a try and bring English culture to your home.

Scones for an English High Tea Ceremony
recipe adapted from Orangette
yields 20 small scones

½ c buttermilk
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
65g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
2,5 tbs sugar
1 cup of Zante currants (little black raisins)

Preheat oven to 220 degrees.

Beat together the milk and the egg and then set aside. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Rub the butter into the flour mixture, working until you have no lumps bigger than a pea. Add the sugar and the currants, and stir or toss to mix. Pour the wet ingredients into the dries, reserving just a tad of the milk-egg mixture to use as a glaze. Let the liquid slowly absorb the flour and butter mixture by letting it stand for a couple of minutes. Bring dough together very gently.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it no more than 12 times. This it to ensure the flakiness. Anything more than that and you will get a chewy scone. Pat dough into a round approximately ½-inch thick, and cut out rounds with a cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet or a Silpat, if you have one. Using a pastry brush, glaze scones.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack.Serve with clotted cream and jam. Oh and tea of course!!!

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1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s not even 10 o’clock, but I am already in the mood for these delish scones and some tea!!!!!
    LOVE your posts! Hope you keep having the time to write with your busy job! How was the housewarming?
    Till Xmas, or before!
    hugs, Marieke

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