Dorene enjoys not just visiting tea rooms for her tea and scones, but also hosting her own afternoon tea and cream tea affairs.
Not surprisingly, my potential as a tea party hostess remains limited. I have, however, taken the first step by starting to bake scones. After trying a few different recipes, including the Classic Cream Scone recipe that Dorene uses (see below), despite some challenges, I better understand the devotion so many people show towards scones.
My greatest challenge has been mixing cold butter into the dry ingredients, a standard step in most recipes. Some recipes suggest a pastry blender, which I keep forgetting to buy. Two knives used scissor fashion is another suggestion, but this trick is beyond either my comprehension or skill (or both). Other recipes suggest using your fingers, which I find rather tiring. During my first attempt at scones, I wished I could just stop and make chocolate chip cookies instead.
But now that my scone-baking journey has started, I am determined to improve. Upcoming attempts include some yogurt based scones and, if I can find the courage, one of Kelsie’s creative concoctions at For the Love of Scones.
Here is the classic cream scone recipe that Dorene uses.
Classic Cream Scones
Makes about 14 scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 large egg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional: ¼ cup chocolate chips and ¼ cup pecans OR
¼ cup white chocolate and a ¼ cup Craisins® OR
anything else you would like to mix in
Also optional: 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water for glaze (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly butter a baking sheet or line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Cut the butter into small pieces (about ½ inch each) and add to flour mixture. With a pastry blender, two knives used scissor fashion, or your fingers, cut the butter into the mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, egg, and vanilla.
- Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
- Add the optional ingredients, if desired.
- With lightly floured hands, place the dough on a floured cutting board or surface. Pat the dough until it is about ½ inch thick. Flour a round biscuit cutter or a glass, cut out rounds from the dough, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Gather any scraps and repeat until all the dough is used.
- Brush the scones with the egg mixture, if desired.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove the baking sheet and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool for a few more minutes.
- Serve warm. Top with Devonshire Cream (recipe below) and jam or lemon curd, if desired.
- Allow leftover scones to cool completely and store in an airtight container.
- Recipe can be doubled with very good results. These scones also keep well in the freezer.
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine all ingredients and beat until stiff
- Serve with scones and jam
The grocery store where I shop was out of cream of tarter, so I could not make the cream. I chose the chocolate chip variation for my scones, but since I don’t eat nuts, I skipped the pecans and added a few extra chocolate chips. A touch of laziness when gathering the scraps of dough resulted in several large and misshapen scones. My yield was closer to 10 than 14.
While these scones did not come out quite like Dorene’s, which always receive rave reviews, I was pleased with the results and with my progress.