In the aftermath of Brexit, it’s a good thing we Brits have one thing to fall back on in times of need: the classic, quintessentially British, cream tea. An oven-fresh scone, topped with lashings of homemade jam and clotted cream, is just the ticket – and if you get cracking, you could have a batch baked and ready to eat in time for the final of Wimbledon 2016 on the small screen.
Wimbledon 2016 has been a fortnight of ups and downs, of tears and triumphs, of rain and sunshine more rain. Fortunately, on the day my mum and I visited the ever-present rainclouds held back and didn’t deposit ungodly amounts of water on us or the courts.
With the weather on our side, we sat through a solid seven-or-so hours of play – seeing Bacsinszky and Kumkhum, Seppi and Raonic, Boserup and Bencic battle it out for a place in the next round. Peeking over the top of Court 3, I could even see Dustin Brown playing doubles down below on Court 4, his dreadlocks flying in the wind! Last but not least, we saw Venus and Serena Williams claw their way back from 5-2 down against Klepac/ Srebotnik to secure a second-round place in the women’s doubles.
Back to those scones – is it scone-like-cone or scone-like-con? According to the OED’s online blog, scone-like-cone is preferred by the Americans, whilst the Brits have a preference for scone-like-con. I use the latter, and since we Brits invented the cream tea I hold scone-like-con to be the ‘correct’ pronunciation – but each to their own. I also couldn’t post about scones without a reference to the jam-then-cream (Cornwall) or cream-then-jam (Devon) palaver. I’ve always gone with the Cornish method, but since neither the Cornish nor the Devonians can stick to their own methods I doubt it really matters which you choose. But whichever way you choose, make sure it’s clotted cream not aerosol cream.
Recipe | Scones
- 200g self-raising flour (plus a little extra)
- 25g sugar
- 50g margarine
- 150ml milk
- Mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl.
- Add the margarine; rub it into the flour with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Pour in the milk and stir together; add a little more flour if you need to in order to bring the mixture together.
- Roll the dough out onto a floured work surface, to a thickness of approximately 1.5cm. Use a round cookie cutter (or a glass) to cut out circles of dough. Sandwich two circles together to make one scone; this recipe makes 8 medium-sized scones, using this method (which makes it easier to cut the scones in half once baked). If you prefer, simply take a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball before putting it on a baking sheet and flattening the top.
- Put all the scones on a greased baking tray, leaving a few centimetres or so between each one.
- Bake at 180°C for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown – if using an AGA, bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Serve with a dollop of jam and clotted cream & enjoy!
- If you prefer fruity scones, try adding some dried cranberries or sultanas to the mixture.
- The quantities in this recipe can easily be doubled (or tripled) to make more scones – and while you’re at it, feel free to experiment with different sizes too (though be prepared to adjust the baking time accordingly).