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Friday, January 4, 2019

Classic Scones

Chinese started drinking tea way before the English caught the fancy. However the afternoon tea which started during 18th century is considered an quintessential English tradition though it is relatively new and started centuries later. The English just didn't drink their cuppa during evenings. Instead the ladies made it into a tradition, a fashionable social event which demanded dress code and etiquette. The afternoon tea which was served in drawing rooms between 4 and 5 pm was a small meal, not a drink. It included an array of snacks which in guise were calorie inducing and mouthwatering treats like rich teacakes (which are not cakes by the way), dainty sandwiches like cucumber ones, small sweet pastries, freshly baked scones served with cream and jam and so on. However the ladies were expected not to eat their heartful, which otherwise would have been impropriety. 

Elevenses on the other hand was a simple affair compared to the evening tea and was a simple refreshment served at around 11 in the morning. It would include tea served with a snack or two which were less savory. Muffins (the English kind and not the American ones), simple bread and butter, biscuits or scones and so on were mostly served. Scones was the common theme of both the tea times, I noticed while looking for elevenses recipes. Tea and freshly baked scones served with cream and jam is known as cream tea. I wanted to try a classic version English scone for quite some time now but the American counterpart always wins when the time to bake them comes. This time, I decided to stick with the English version for my Blogging Marathon - Elevenses theme and tried these classic scones that I had bookmarked from Newyork Times.
These traditional scones are barely sweet since they are eaten with sweet jams and clotted cream. I made them today and served them with strawberry spread to accompany our evening tea and chocolate milk. We noticed that more jam is needed compared to what we spread on our toasts. They were lighter, and flakier than American versions as the recipe suggested. 

Ingredients:
1 tbsp. flaxmeal for flax egg
2 cups cake flour + extra as needed
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. sugar (divided)
5 tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces (or grated)
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream + extra for brushing (Milk can be substituted.)

The original recipe suggests to bake at 450 deg F but the reviewers of the original recipe suggested to lower the temperature and I baked them at 425 deg F. If you don't have cake flour on hand, combine 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour and use instead. If eating eggs, skip the flax egg and substitute with an egg. Heavy cream can be substituted with milk. Start with 1/4 cup cream or milk and go on adding in small increments until dough can be formed. I had to use about 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. milk and the dough was easy to work with. The original recipe mentions that the dough should be sticky but not messy. Add 1/2 cup of currants or raisins if preferred. I think they will add a little sweet punch to these barely sweet scones. 

Directions:
* For flax egg, combine 1 tbsp. flaxmeal and 3 tbsp. warm water in a small bowl and keep aside for about 5 minutes.
* Preheat the oven to 425 deg F.
* Add flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 tbsp. sugar to a food processor and pulse to combine. Next add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
or
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and grate the butter which was frozen beforehand, directly into the bowl.
* Add egg and enough cream to form a slightly sticky dough. If the mixture appears too sticky, add a little flour. The final dough should be a little sticky to hands.
* Turn the dough onto a slightly floured surface and knead the dough once or twice. Then press it into a 3/4 inch thick circle and cut it into 2 inch rounds with a biscuit cutter or glass. Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again until all the dough is used. Put the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. (I lined the baking sheet with aluminium foil. I made 3 inch rounds of 1/2 inch thickness and got 8 scones.) 
Or 
Pat the dough into a circle of 3/4 inch thickness directly on a greased or lined baking sheet and cut into 8 wedges with a sharp knife.  

* Brush the top of each scone with bit of cream and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
* Bake for about 9 to 11 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.

* Serve the scones warm with jam, mascarpone, clotted cream, or creme fraiche.
bmlogo

Comments

11 comments:

Varadas Kitchen said...

The classic scones have come out great! Makes a nice snack with the jam.

vaishali sabnani said...

Scones with jam or cheese would be perfect with some tea or coffees ! And these are baked very well , love the way they have risen , super pick !

Priya Suresh said...

Those scones are just prefect to please some hungry tummies quickly with jam, nutella or cream cheese, i love scones anytime of the day.

Harini R said...

These look like a good snack for anytime. I have tried different variations of scones but never the classic version. Bookmarked to try soon.

Gayathri Kumar said...

Buttery scones with the jam is the perfect snack for the eleven o'clock hunger pangs. They looks so good and I guess the cake flour makes it light.

Srividhya Gopalakrishnan said...

These are the apt ones for the elevenses theme. I have never baked any scones. This looks so delicious and I am book marking this.

Pavani N said...

I have made British scones too and they are not as rich and sweet as the American version. Your scones look flaky and delicious. They must have tastes awesome with jam.

Srivalli said...

The scones have turned out great Suma. I enjoyed reading your notes on the traditions. You have surely made this theme such a fantastic one for the reader!

Swati said...

Buttery scones with jam are perfect for kidoos lunchbox or anytime snacking. Loved your well baked classic scones.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Such flaky and buttery scone with jam is so awesome for breakfast. I am in love with it and the scones have come out so well.

Chef Mireille said...

scones are one of my favorites when I think of Brit foods. So soft flaky and delicious and just a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea