Sometimes in the afternoon, I like to have a light meal and some tea. It makes me feel positively regal! Scones are the perfect addition to your afternoon refresher or for a tête-à-tête with a friend.
I’m not even sure where scones are originally from, but it’s safe to say that they have been around for a very long time. Many people believe they originated in Scotland, as there is a town there called Scone, but one thing is certain, the British people made it a lovely tradition. An afternoon tea usually consists of tea, scones, jam, and some clotted cream. How indulgent and delicious and simple. Yes, scones are simple!
A Few Notes About Clotted Cream
You might be asking yourself, what the heck is clotted cream! It’s just a lovely, thick, luxurious, rich cream. Sometimes it’s called double cream or sometimes Devonshire cream. I’ve heard it said that it’s where butter and whipped cream collide. I’m not quite sure about that description. I went to a Tea House one time and they served clotted cream with their lovely cakes and scones and cookies and I asked for the recipe. The server just told me to mix 1/3 cup of sour cream with 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 TB powdered sugar or brown sugar. Mind you, this is kind of low brow way of making it – but, it’s a nice flavor if you can’t get the real stuff. Real clotted cream is a bit of a bear to make yourself, but if you so desire, here is a great recipe by Alton Brown for the real thing – Clotted Cream.
Scones of Every Type
There are as many varieties of scones as your imagination can come up with – both savory and sweet! I have tried many different recipes and this one is my favorite. It’s by Martha Stewart and she calls them Cream Scones. While she adds currants to hers, I add cranberries to my recipe. Either way, they are incredibly delicious as well as easy and quick to make. I cut mine out with a heart-shaped cookie cutter to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- Sanding sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together 3/4 cup cream and egg. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. You can also just use your hand if you work quickly taking care not to warm the butter. Stir in cranberries. With a fork, stir in cream mixture until just combined. (The dough should be crumbly; do not overwork.)
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 6-inch circle. Cut into 6 wedges or cookie cutter and cut into any shape you like and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with 1 tablespoon cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake until golden, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.
- *Scones are best eaten the day you make them. If necessary, cool and then freeze.