Sunday, March 2, 2014

Afternoon Tea: British Cream Scones with a Cinnamon Raisin Twist

Remember how I said I had recently become creative? At least a little bit creative, which is leaps and bounds beyond my absolute lack of creativity in the previous 27 years. This high tea stemmed from a little bit of that creativity. My mother and mother-in-law share the same birthday. This year they both received from us high tea in a box with homemade scones and tea cookies, jam, lemon curd, and tea. Who doesn't love high tea? I think we should all stop what we are doing this afternoon and partake. Find a scone and your favorite tea, sit in a nice relaxing spot, and take a moment to enjoy the afternoon. 

Even better, you can surprise a friend or your spouse with these homemade scones and some jam and enjoy the afternoon together. These scones are adapted from Cook's Illustrated British cream scones. Apparently the classic British cones contain less sugar than their American counterparts. This makes it so you can lavishly spread lemon curd all over them and enjoy. These scones were simple and wonderful. I added raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg but you could add whatever makes you happy. 

British Cream Scones
Slightly adapted from Cook's Illustrated, serves 8 

2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbs sugar 
1 tbs baking powder 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 tbs unsalted butter cold and cut into 1/4" pieces 
1/2 cup raisins 
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and move oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg just until combined. Scatter butter chunks over the top and pulse again, until the mixture looks like coarse meal and some large butter chunks still remain. 

Pour mixture into a large bowl and mix in raisins. Stir in cream until dough begins to take shape. 

Place the dough on a floury surface and knead until a sticky ball forms. Shape dough into a 6" round and cut into eight wedges. 

Places the wedges on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the top of the scones are lightly golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving. 

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