Tea with Scones and Clotted Cream

Tea with Scones and Clotted Cream

  • By T. Robert Wilson
  • /
  • September 2019-Vol.5, No.9

Any self-respecting Anglophile would be familiar with ‘tea time’ but along with the tea must be the proper accompaniment. As we explore this tradition, I shall continue typing in the Queen’s English dialect and hope you dastardly, rebellious colonists can follow along. Shall we?

In between shifts of chimney sweeping or games of Cricket, tea is usually served in a ceramic cup and saucer, although the more vulgar of the population use those over-sized American style mugs made in… shall we say ‘elsewhere’. Jolly good, we forgive you. Placing the teabag in the cup, add boiled water that has rested for two minutes. Sugar is added either by spoon or cubes, known as “lumps.” Then the sugar is mixed by moving the spoon forwards and backwards within the cup like a Gent, not stirring like an anxious New Yorker, for pity’s sake!

Photo: Charmaine Zoe

As for the accompaniment, you would traditionally have scones. (Leaving those Krispy Creme donuts for either bribing or apologizing at work.) Butter is quite universally accepted as dressing on your scone, refer to “The Lumberjack Song” by Monty Python. However for those who fancy themselves a bit more posh you would use jam, usually made with rrrrrrred frrruit. (Yes, I said that rrrright.)

The final condiment is the uniquely luxurious ‘clotted creme’ which we are making today. You will need an oven, a glass casserole pan, and 2-3 quarts of non-pasteurized heavy cream. (Pasteurized cream has already been heated and thus won’t work.) Simply preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pan into the oven on a middle rack and after the first hour, turn the power off and leave the pan sit overnight or for about 12 hours. Afterwards, collect the clotted cream from on top, place it into a jar, and save the remaining milk liquid for making your next batch of scones.

Scone recipe:
— Combine dry set into one bowl:
2    cups of flour
1/3 cup of sugar

1    tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of salt

1/4 tsp of baking soda

8    Tbsp of frozen butter- grate the stick using a cheese grater
1/2 cup of dried raisins, currants, or cranberries– Combine wet set in another bowl:
1 egg + 1/2 cup of milk leftover from the clotted cream.Combine everything by hand, pushing the dough into the side of the bowl until dough can hold its form. Form the dough into a circle, about one inch thick, then cut into triangles like a pizza or as desired. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet, lightly dust with flour, and placing the triangles on the sheet, allow for a for about 3 inches in between each. Bake at 400°F on the low or middle rack for 15-17 minutes.* Note, I purposefully deferred discussing crumpets because I’ve found they have always gone moldy too fast and I prefer just buying English muffins, which are a much better product anyway, because they’re actually Made in ‘Merica!
And thus, I return you to your box set of Downtown Abbey and I shall bugger off for now. Cheers!

T.R. Wilson, Esquire