A little something different over here tonight! My husband moved to the USA from Devon, England a few years ago. Since then, there are a few (okay, quite a few) foods that he misses from home (I’m learning to miss them too.) I’m not a fan of curry and probably wouldn’t make it right even if I were….so I settled on baking him a traditional Devonshire cream tea for his 31st birthday last week. Early on in our relationship, my mother-in-law & I traded our respective country’s measuring methods so we could more easily use each other’s recipes; she gave me a scale & I sent her some measuring cups. Partially because I know most Americans don’t necessarily know how to use a scale to bake but mostly because I had a towel with no stains on it at the ready, I decided to blog this recipe, adapted from bbcgoodfood.com. The perfect Valentine’s Day treat if you ask me.
A Devonshire cream tea is traditionally an afternoon meal that includes tea with scones (Americans might call the scone a biscuit although it’s sweeter than what we’re used to), clotted cream & strawberry jam. There are variations of it based on the region. It’s very difficult to find clotted cream in the US so you have a few options. You can make your own here or you can have some sent to you from an online English shop such as this one, which is where mine came from. I’ve heard some say Trader Joe’s & World Market carry it as well, but haven’t yet visited to confirm or deny. You’ll also need a baking scale, which is carried by many bigger name stores like Target & Wal-Mart but also most specialty kitchen shops.
Yields 8 scones
350 grams of self-rising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
85 grams of butter, cut into cubes
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
splash of lemon juice
1 beaten egg
strawberry jam & clotted cream
To start, warm your oven to 220C or 425F. Weigh out your ingredients.
Combine your flour, baking powder & salt. Add the butter & crumble it with your hands into the flour until it becomes a sand-like consistency. Then add the sugar.
Add your milk to a mug & warm in the microwave for 30 seconds. Afterward, add the vanilla extract & lemon juice. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper & place in the oven to warm up. Make a well in the center of your flour mixture & add the warmed milk combination. Quickly, work to combine it all together with a knife so as not to over mix it.
Coat your hands and your ball of dough with more flour so nothing sticks together & place on your floured countertop.
Fold the dough together a few times & then roll out with a rolling pin, but not too much. I actually rolled mine out too thin. You want them to be about an inch thick, before baking.
Take a biscuit cutter (or the rim of a drinking glass!) to your dough & add a little flour to the edges before using it to cut out 4 scones. Roll your dough together & pat back down in order to create 4 more scones.
With a pastry brush, add the beaten egg to the top of the scones.
Yours should be much thicker than mine! I learned the hard way. Bake for 10 minutes or until risen & golden on top. Enjoy them warm with lots of clotted cream and jam. And then hey, go back for more.
Images were shot on both a Canon 5D Mark iii and Portra 400 on a Contax 645. Film developed & scanned by PhotoVision.