scones with clotted cream and jam

March 14, 2012

Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam650

Cream tea is one of those quintessentially English things that people find so crushingly charming about the U.K. Many a visitor to our fair isles latches onto this tradition as a must-do activity. Places like The Ritz hotel offer scones in this fashion in intimidatingly fancy surrounds for scary prices. That whole thing is not my idea of a good time AT ALL. Too much pomp and circumstance when all I want is a good cuppa and a really good scone (and to not worry about slurping said cuppa or getting clotted cream on my chin).

Scones and Jam650

I much prefer little tearooms with lace tablecloths, doilies, bad wallpaper, worse carpet, and honest-to-goodness scones and tea. It’s relaxed, admittedly somewhat “quaint”, but there’s no formality whatsoever, just people of all ilks enjoying a pot of tea and a classic English scone.

Since I know my readership is made up of mostly Americans, followed by Brits and others, I think a little explanation is probably needed.

Scones Clotted Cream 650

Here’s the deal: American scones and English scones are very different. If you want some visual comparison. Here are some typically American scones. Round-shaped British scones can resemble North American biscuits in appearance, but scones are delicate, with a flaky texture and just a touch of sweetness, while biscuits are a richer, more buttery, decadent affair. Also, while scones are served as part of afternoon tea or as a sweet dessert, biscuits are served more as a bread, often with breakfast.

The standard scone recipe is pretty simple and combines flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter, and milk. Felicity Cloak wrote a wonderful piece on how to make the perfect scone which I read thoroughly before beginning this baking expedition. With such few and simple ingredients, I gave much thought to which raising agent would be best, choosing the best local butter for optimum flavour, and how to get the scones to rise evenly. Phew. We’re serious about our scones over here.

I have to say the result was lovely. Soft, fluffy little cakes with rich clotted cream and sweet, fruity jam – nothing could be better.

Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam
adapted from BBC Good Food and BBC Food

Ingredients

  • 225g/ 8oz plain (all purpose) flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 55g/ 2oz/ 4 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 25g/ 1oz caster (white) sugar
  • 150ml/ 5fl oz milk
  • really good jam, to serve
  • clotted cream, to serve*

Directions

  1. Heat your oven to 220C/425F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Working as quickly and lightly as possible with cold hands, rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  2. Next, stir in the sugar and then the milk until you have a soft but firm dough. Turn out dough onto a floured work surface and with floured hands, pat the dough into a circle about 1.5cm to 2cm thick and cut out the scones using a 5cm/2in cutter or a small glass jar. Place rounds on baking sheet and lightly knead together the rest of the dough and stamp out more scones to use it all up.
  3. Brush the tops of the scones with milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack and serve with good jam and clotted cream. Makes 8-12 scones.

* With a 60% fat content, clotted cream is too thick to pour, but it’s not as thick as butter. You can find it at Lunds/Byerly’s in the Twin Cities or you can purchase it online. Certainly you could make it yourself but golly if I do not want to spend 8 hours tending to cream while it clots. At a pinch, you could substitute heavy whipping cream, whipped until thick and spreadable, or use crème fraîche. The real stuff costs a pretty penny but my god, it’s worth it.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

snowrose March 14, 2012 at 9:12 am

Thanks for the recipe! I LOVE a good scone!

For the Americans reading, 225g of flour is just under 2 cups of flour. It’s about 1 and 4/5ths cups. (Please don’t confuse the weight of 8 oz of flour with the *volume* of cups of flour.)

The website link is a converter for all purpose flour. Thank goodness for the internet!

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Angharad March 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thanks so much for pointing this out. It’s worth it’s own post but going from grams/ounces to cups is NOT a seamless journey. If I list weights I hope readers will always follow suit and not try to convert to cups, especially where baking is concerned! Also, you can buy a decent food scale for around $20 at Target – certainly within most people’s budgets!

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Austin Blues January 14, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Thanks for the weight, it is so much better to work with..

emily (a nutritionist eats) March 14, 2012 at 10:05 am

I want to try clotted cream, don’t think I’ve ever had it before!

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Laine March 14, 2012 at 10:07 am

I’m also a Brit living in the U.S. and spent ages pining away for clotted cream. Wholefoods and Fresh Market offer Double Devon now. Not quite clotted cream but, if I don’t look at the label on the jar, it does the trick! Lovely recipe by the way xx

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Angharad March 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Thanks Laine! So lovely to hear from another Brit living in the U.S. Would love to know where you’re based and what brought you here. Glad you found my blog! x

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Marisa March 14, 2012 at 11:57 am

You probably know this tip. But I read years ago that when you buy a little jar of clotted cream stateside a good idea is to take it out of the jar and give it a good beating with a mixer. Does seem to give it a better texture and closer to what you’d get in England.

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Angharad March 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

That’s an excellent tip! The consistency is pretty stiff when you first open it. I found letting it come to room temperature helps and yes – whipping! – brilliant tip.

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Evan Thomas March 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Happy birthday, Angharad! I’ve never tried clotted cream but I’m intrigued by anything described on Amazon as a cross between butter and ice cream.

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Angharad March 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Ha! Thanks for the birthday wishes, Evan. Clotted cream is a bit of a wonder…an artery clogging one, but a wonder nonetheless :)

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PolaM March 14, 2012 at 7:58 pm

this looks like a delicious scone! Probably more like my kind of dessert than many of the american cakes!

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snowrose March 15, 2012 at 11:34 am

*chuckle* I’m an ex-pat American living in Canada. That makes me lucky because there are a lot more Brit foods here – and that includes clotted cream. I tried some about a year ago and will need to get more to have with your lovely scones!

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Jenni March 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Thanks for this delicious post! I very recently discovered your blog, but I didn’t realize you were living in Minneapolis. I am also a transplant (but not too far away-SD). I studied in England for a year and along with missing it dearly, I developed a major addiction to ‘proper’ British scones! Nice work–I will be sure to keep reading!

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Angharad March 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Hi Jenni! Glad you found my site and that we share the scone love :) there are other British classics on my recipe page if you’re hungry for “home”!

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Emily @LivingLongfellow March 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

My ancestors are British, so my mom attempts to make this treat fairly often. I’m always on the lookout for clotted cream to send to my mom up in Duluth. I just saw it today at Whole Foods by Lake Calhoun, I want to say for $7-8. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it another place too….it’ll come to me.

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Laurie Jesch-Kulseth @ Relishing It March 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

I think this is my favorite way to eat scones…plain with jam and clotted cream (or creme fraiche, since I can never find clotted cream). Can we please bring tea time to the US — I’m such a tea/snack girl! Your scones look amazing. :)

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holly March 21, 2012 at 8:52 am

one lovely, lovely, lovely post! scones + tea are an absolute favorite.

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Dave April 1, 2012 at 1:20 am

Thank YOU! My scones are currently in the oven baking. I recently discovered your blog/site and fell in love with it. I’m an Indian guy from Guyana, S.A and currently living in the States. I have NEVER had clotted cream, it sounds really amazing. Someday, perhaps. For now, butter and jam with do. Thanks again.

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Karla July 8, 2012 at 11:07 am

I was walking at my local supermarket yesterday and found myself in the English/UK section of it. As I was curiously looking through the aisle I couldn’t help but notice “English clotted cream”. I quickly googled it’s use and came across your site which inspired me to make “scones” to have with the cream. I’ve now learned that American scones and English scones are very different! Any woo, I made your scones this morning, added my newly purchased clotted cream and the jam I bought from the same aisle and Wa la! it was delicious! Thank you soo much for your blog, great recipes!

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Sandra November 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I was searching for a Victoria sponge recipe that gave US measure (impossible to convert) when I found your site. I too am an expat now living in Michigan and just love your site. I am throwing a Very English traditional Christmas party this year, so I know I will be a very frequent visitor to this site. Thanks so much for all the hard work that must go into this.

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Amudha August 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Lovely! Just back from another trip to London and, as always, tea was a huge focus, and, invariably, I had scones for my tea. Growing up in the States, I hated scones (too dense), until I discovered a proper scone when I moved to London. And with clotted cream and jam – heaven!

I also do agree about the fancy teas on offer – tea is meant to be (at least for me) a relaxing part of the day, and I cannot imagine unwinding if I constantly have to be aware of my surroundings. With what little concept we have of tea culture in the States, it’s often thought of as a very posh tradition. But it’s nice that in the UK tea is so prevalent that there’s room to celebrate it in so many different ways.

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Melissa February 22, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Can you recommend an English jam that’s available online to use with this recipe?

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Wendy Gunn April 30, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Hello! I happened upon your site while looking for a place to buy clotted cream. How fun to find that you live in my neck of the woods! (I live in St. Michael, just NW of Minneapolis.) Though not from England, I adore scones with jam and clotted cream. I am planning a tea party in a couple of weeks (I’ve had a couple, but this one will be in the evening, and the focus is not on being really “authentic”). I will be, however, serving scones with jam, lemon curd and clotted cream (amongst other things). I have substituted creme fraiche in the past, but have so enjoyed clotted cream at tea rooms in our area (Heirlooms in Hutchinson, Mad Hatter in Anoka, etc.), and would love to serve the real thing, without making it. (I did find a great Lemon Curd recipe a couple of years ago, though!) I will try Lunds/Byerlys, and also Whole Foods. Now, what to serve for the “sweets” for dessert? I will check out your site for possible answers! So excited to have found you! Thanks so much!

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Joann May 4, 2014 at 1:12 am

I just made a batch of scones from your recipe. They are delicious! They are quick and easy to make and turned out beautifully. I do always use a food scale for baking. I guarantees consistent good results! Next time I want to make my own clotted cream.

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