Yesterday was the men’s final at Wimbledon and Andy Murray, the first British man in 74 years to reach a Wimbledon final, was playing against Roger Federer. The whole nation, it seemed, was watching the match. Bums were perched on the edge of sofas from Land’s End to John o’Groats…you could almost feel the Nation’s tension. My Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds were full of Wimbledon chat as millions of people willed Murray to win. However, my dad screaming at the TV was all a bit too stressful for me so I decided to make some scones to occupy my mind whilst watching the match, and also have something to a) celebrate with or b) commiserate with.
Unfortunately, it turned out that Federer won (yet again, boringly), and we all tried to cheer ourselves up with some warm scones straight from the oven. One day, Andy Murray will get there. One day…
Scones are a very traditional British Afternoon Cream Tea treat. Often served with clotted cream and jam, there are regional variations as to how a cream tea should preferably be eaten. The Devonshire (or Devon) method is to split the scone in two, cover each half with clotted cream and then add jam on top. Traditionally it is important that the scones be warm (ideally, freshly baked), and that clotted (rather than whipped) cream and strawberry jam, rather than any other variety, are used. Butter is generally not included.
In Cornwall however, the cream tea was traditionally first spread with jam, and then topped with a spoonful of Cornish clotted cream.
Where clotted cream is not available, whipped cream is sometimes used as a substitute.
225g/9oz plain flour, sifted
2tsp baking powder
30g caster sugar
1 medium egg
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a bowl.
Then rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Bit by bit, add 150ml milk until you have a firm dough.
Turn out onto a floured work surface.
Pat the dough into a circle about 1½ cm thick.
And cut out the scones.
TIP: before you cut the scones, rub the base of the cutter in some of the flour so it doesn’t stick.
Place onto a non-stick baking sheet.
Once you have cut as many scones as you can, just re-shape the dough and start again.
Once all the scones are placed on the baking tin, brush the tops with beaten egg or milk.
I tried both and found that the beaten egg gave the scones a more golden rich colour.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack then serve with jam and cream.
My mum brought out my Great Grandmother’s china tea set to serve them on.
I dusted the scones with a little icing sugar because I just think icing sugar makes everything look prettier.
You can of course add raisins or sultanas if you wish. Just mix them into the dough before you turn it onto your floured surface.