Scones with jam and clotted cream are what I sometimes miss most about the UK, of course I can make scones here in Germany, but I don’t have the clotted cream to go with them, so it’s just not the same. However it’s Sunday, and I’m craving the classical tea time treat, so I’ve decided to make them with a little twist so that using regular cream suddenly feels like part of the dish instead of a second-best substitute. This recipe is based on a recipe from a recipe book my great Gran had, who back in the early 1900s went to train at the national school of cookery in London. I didn’t know this until my Gran told me just 2 years ago and gave me the several cookery books she still had from her mother in law.
Reading the introduction to the handbook I was quite shocked at what I read! “I wish it to be clearly understood that these Artizan Recipes are not intended for the use of the poor people in their own homes, but for those who go out to teach the people”. April 1904. It certainly shows how much of a class system it was back then. It is a honour to have these books from my great Gran and use them as a reference for my own cooking, and even though 120 years later, unfortunately the class system is not completely abolished, I am so pleased and proud that the recipes I create today are available to anyone who is interested in them.
These scones are really lovely served with quince jelly, but a berry jam would work just as well with the orange and star anise too. I like to use spelt flour but wheat flour would obviously also be fine.
Scones are best eaten fresh out of the oven. Otherwise I would recommend freezing any left over and re heating when you’d like to eat them again.
250 g Spelt Flour
200 g Wholemeal Spelt Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
80 g Butter, chilled and cut into cubes
80 g Sugar
1/2 Orange, Zest only
1/2 Tsp ground Star Anise
90 ml Water
150 ml Milk
3 Tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Milk
1/2 Tsp Sugar
200 g Double cream, or Clotted Cream
Sugar and Star Anise, if using the Double Cream
Quince Jelly, or Berry Jam of choice.
Preheat the oven to 220 °C. Measure out the milk and add in the lemon juice, mix and allow to curdle. Meanwhile add both the flours, salt, sugar, ground star anise, orange zest, baking powder and baking soda to a large bowl and mix together using a whisk. Add in the chilled butter cubes and rub together with the flour between your fingers to create light breadcrumbs. Add in the water and curdled milk and bring together into a ball. It’s important here to refrain from kneading the dough. It should come together into a ball but it will still look very rough and uneven. To create the wonderful crumb that a scone has, the gluten in the flour shouldn’t be worked. Once the dough has come together place onto a floured work surface and using a rolling pin roll out the dough until its a good 2 – 3 cm thick. Another trick for successful scones is not to roll them out to thin. The deeper the better! Using a round cookie cutter between 7 and 8 cm in diameter cut out the scones and place on a floured baking tray. Bring the cut offs together and knead once to create a ball and roll out again, cut out more scones and repeat until all the dough has been used.
In a small bowl mix the 1 tbsp milk and 1/2 tsp sugar together and brush the scones with it. Place the scones in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. They should be well risen, golden brown on top and should sound hollow when turned over and tapped on the bottom. Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack.
If using double cream, pour into a measuring jug with 2 tsp sugar and a sprinkle of star anise and using an electronic hand whisk, lightly whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.
To serve, cut the warm scones in half, spread with clotted cream or the whipped cream, a good serving of quince jelly and a little grating of orange zest and a pinch of star anise. Best eaten with a fresh pot of tea, and in the company of loved ones.
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