Recipe: Cream & Current Scones

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The first time I had a scone – a real British scone – I almost lost my mind. The small disc had a tender crumb and tasted of lightly sweetened cream. A speckling of currants brightened the flavor, giving it just a hint of color, too.

The giving texture of the scone is worth further mention. I think much of the lightness stems from the fact that  real scones are made with good quality European butter. European butter is richer (averaging 85% fat instead of just 81%), so there’s less water, which means a more delicate crumb.

It also helped that the scone was made with a light touch: there was nothing overworked about the recipe ( a baking crime which can quickly turn a featherweight scone into a hockey puck).

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With such delicious ingredients, a true scone needs very little accouterments.

Still, I did as the British do, and split my scone and added a spoonful of homemade strawberry preserves. The garnet colored preserves filled the craggy crevice so completely, the sticky goodness nearly spilled over onto my plate.

It. Was. Lovely.

There was no doubt in my mind why people in the United Kingdom enjoy this treat at tea time. It’s indulgent, yet pretty.

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Makes a dozen 2 1/4″ round scones

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, preferably European-style, cubed
2/3 cup currants
1 cup heavy cream

Method:

Let’s fill our days with sparkle…

Tower Bridge as viewed from the North-East near St Katherine Dock. Photo by Diliff,

Tower Bridge as viewed from the North-East near St Katherine Dock. Photo by Diliff,

… and let’s start with these scones.

First, preheat the oven to 425F

Then, stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

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Using a pastry cutter (or two knives), cut in the butter until the pieces are pea-sized.

Add the currants with a spatula or spoon, then stir in the heavy cream until a dough forms. Only mix the bare minimum to bring together a dough. If you mix too much, it’ll make the scones tough.

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Pat the dough into 3/4 inch thickness, then cut out circles with a floured 21/4 inch round cutter, or whatever you have laying around. (Baking times may vary)

Bake about 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

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You can also freeze the uncooked scones. They’ll take just a minute or so longer to cook.

That’s it!

Enjoy with a big spoonful of strawberry preserves, a smile and some friends.

Perhaps someplace with a view…

Eilean Donan Castle, as viewed from the south-east at sunrise. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Eilean Donan Castle, as viewed from the south-east at sunrise. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

No biggie..

View from Quiraing to the Staffinbay. Isle of Skye, Scotland. Photo by Stefan Krause.

View from Quiraing to the Staffinbay. Isle of Skye, Scotland. Photo by Stefan Krause.

Hey, now, … a foggy spot works, too.

Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye in the mist. Photo by Klaus.

Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye in the mist. Photo by Klaus.

You can eat these wherever you’d like, really.

As long as you do one thing: enjoy yourself.

 

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Comments

  1. I’ve been in British food mode lately because I’m anticipating the premiere of Downton Abbey and my friend just bought me the ,a href=”http://samanthamenzies.com/home/2013/08/three-british-things/”>Downton Abbey cookbook so your UK cooking is timely.

    I think people who say they don’t like scones have never had a good one. I love them. Especially with clotted cream. Though I haven’t had “real” clotted cream, but I have attempted to make it at home at it was amazing so I imagine real Devon cream would be even better.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Ohhhh I bet that cookbook is great! I need to look it up. :) I also need to look into making my own clotted cream; I didn’t think of that.

  2. HI, I will be baking scones very soon.But your pictures are so beautiful .Thank you so much.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Thank you Johanna, it took several years of trial and error to figure out how to take nice food photos. It was worth the effort though. I really enjoy food photography now :)

  3. elisa waller says:

    oh the joy!!! :-) <3

  4. You make my day! Would like to suggest, however, that it would be extremely convenient to be able to click onto a printer friendly version where the entire recipe is all together on one page. Keep up the good work, and I am so looking forward to your book!!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Thanks Diana! Under “Share the Love” there’s a printer friendly button. You can click on everything you want to delete, until you’re left with the exact text you want. It’s a bit hidden; sorry about that!

  5. You should probably include something on how to pour tea. It’s not quite the exalted ceremony described in Kawabata’s novel “Thousand Cranes”, but it’s close. The following article has two errors. First, it uses the phrase “tea bag”. There are no tea bags, ever. (Except that I bet lots of people who have no servants use tea bags all the time if there are no guests.) Also I believe that the milk goes in the cup AFTER the tea, not before.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Food/Stir-It-Up/2011/0428/How-to-pour-a-proper-cup-of-English-tea

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  1. [...] & Current Scones [Recipe] While there are many variations, the best scones made with currants, cream, and a whole lot of [...]

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