Simple Scones for Cream Tea

Suppose you haven’t sampled the delightful afternoon ritual that is an English cream tea. In that case, you have my wholehearted recommendation to scroll down to my scone recipe immediately and make it happen. I say ritual because this is more than a snack. It’s a tradition, a ceremony of sorts, that demands one to slow down and savour. The very nature of tea requires a slower approach—wait for the kettle to boil, wait for the leaves to steep, and wait for the tea to cool enough that it doesn’t immediately blister the roof of your mouth.

Pair your tea with a scone topped with a healthy dollop of cream and jam, and you’ve got a cream tea. Traditionally, the cream should be clotted, but that’s really hard to come by in Canada. We’ve got different dairy laws here that make it near-impossible even to make your own clotted cream. Alas, I settle for whipped cream—whipped within an inch of its life to extra-stiff peaks just a step before butter. I make up for that with only homemade jam and the freshest buttery scones I can bake.

You’ll notice in the photo with this post that my scones are terribly overbaked. Don’t do that. I got distracted and managed to cover up my mistake with some luscious homemade lemon curd and lots of cream, but you can do better. Set your timer for a few minutes less than recommended and check on them.

Carrying on with my series of small batch treats, this recipe makes 4 large or 6 medium scones. Enjoy!

Simple Scones for Cream Tea

  • 1 1/2 cups Flour (250 g)
  • 1/4 cup Sugar (50 g)
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Butter (75 g)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk (118 mL) OR substitute milk soured with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 195°C/400°F.
  2. Line a small baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cut butter into small cubes and work into the dry ingredients with your fingers until the butter resembles flakes like fish food.
  5. Beat the egg together with buttermilk and then pour into the dry mixture. Mix until just combined, with no dry flour visible. Don’t overmix, or the scones will be tough.
  6. Tip the dough out onto the counter and roll or press into a rectangle about 1 ½ inches thick. Cut into 4 or 6 even rectangles (yes, rectangles!), placing them on the baking sheet close together but not quite touching.
  7. Brush the tops with a bit of milk or cream. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes. I usually end up cracking one open to be sure the middle is cooked through.
  8. Serve with cream and jam and a pot of tea.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

C.S. Lewis

Published by Aly Writes

I bake. I write. What goes better together than a good story and a delicious fresh-baked pastry? Nothing. And I can give you both. Grab a hot cuppa and join me.

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