Nothing evokes the pleasures of a traditional English summer afternoon more, especially outside on a good day, as the clotted cream tea with fruit scones. Whether you pronounce it with a short or long “o“, or prefer a Devon or a Cornish style (see Trivia below), the fruit scone is at the heart of the matter. Here’s the traditional recipe.
- 8 ounces /225g self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 ounces / 55g butter
- 1 ounce / 25g sultanas
- 1 ounce / 25g caster sugar
- 5 fluid ounces / 150ml milk
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas 7.
Grease a baking sheet, lightly.
Mix together the flour and salt and rub in the butter.
Add the sultanas, sugar and then the milk and gently mix together to get a soft dough.
Turn the mixture out on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly.
Gently pat down the mixture and spread it out until it is around ¾ of an inch (2cm) thick.
Use a two-inch (5cm) cutter to stamp out the rounds and place them on the baking sheet.
Knead the rest of the dough together and repeat the patting down and cutting process until all is used up.
Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.
Cool on a wire rack.
Warm scones served spread with butter and any jam of your choice are great but best of all is the addition of whipped cream, or especially clotted cream.
Rather like the argument over the tea you drink – milk in first, or after the tea? – so is the debate over the traditional cream tea as found in England. You will often find these styled as Cornish Cream Tea or Devon Cream Tea, neighbouring counties in the south west of England which both produce a rich clotted cream. What’s the difference? It’s all to do whether you put the cream, on the scone first or the jam. In Devon, they put the cream on first, then the jam. In Cornwall, it’s the other way round. Turn it upside down and you can have it both ways!