Monday, August 13, 2012

Authentic British Cream Tea

Fact: I made scones. Legit British scones.
Fact: I made clotted cream. Legit British clotted cream.
Fact: I ate the sones with tea. Therefore, it is legit Cream Tea.

This scone recipe is courtesy of my Aunt Ginna, whose blog and book series called "Honey Baby Darlin" feature all of her favorite recipes; the fourth book, due in 2013, will include the recipe for her Legendary Cream Scones.
Aunt Ginna owned an incredible cafe a little over a decade ago, and people STILL stop her on the street to express their sadness that they no longer have access to these scones.

I totally understand their pain.

I also made clotted cream. For those of you who haven't experienced clotted cream, it's a little bit between butter and whipped cream. Its got a very distinct flavor, and tastes magical on scones.

I tried two recipes: one that cooked whipping cream on the stovetop, and one in the oven. The stovetop clotted cream was okay, but was not the consistency I was looking for.
The oven-cooked clotted cream is incredible. I found the recipe on Cupcake Project, and it's super easy. All it calls for is whipping cream.
The problem?
It needs to be heavy whipping cream that is NOT ultra-pasteurized. I found it at Whole Foods, and I'm gonna have to stock up before I go back to school. The cream needs to be as high a fat content as possible.
The other problem?
Some serious patience is required. I don't have patience, especially when it comes to baking. But trust me, waiting is worth it in this case.

Legit British Clotted Cream
Courtesy of Cupcake Project- check out for step-by-step photos
Pour regular pasteurized heavy whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized) into a heavy-bottomed pan. Cook in oven at 180 degrees F for ~8 hours (could be more, depending on amount of cream). It's done when there's a thick yellow skin on top. Let cream come to room temperature, then refrigerate for ~8 hours. 

Aunt Ginna's Legendary Cream Scones
Yield: ~12-15 scones (depending on size)
Organic, unbleached pastry flour- 3 1/2 c
Baking powder- 3 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Bakers' superfine sugar- 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter- 1 c (2 sticks), cold, cut into quarters
Eggs- 4, cold
Heavy cream- 2/3 c (use leftovers from clotted cream)
Sour cream- 2/3 c
Flavoring (see note)

1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Place in a huge food processor with butter chunks. Process until mixture resembles and feels like coarse meal, less than 1 minute.
2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, heavy cream and sour cream. Stir in flavoring. Add mixture to food processor.
3. Mix together until dough forms a soft ball. Scoop dough out onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sugar (optional). Bake at 350 degrees F for ~20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
Vanilla scones- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Lemon scones- 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest
Raisin scones- 1 c raisins, 1 tsp cinnamon

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