Thursday, August 5, 2010

Henry James Tea Scones

"Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea" - The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James

And there are fewer tea pastries more delightful than authentic, English tea scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Tea Scone Recipe 
Makes about 24

  • 1 lbs. butter
  • 5 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbls. and 2 Tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whatever fruit desired (currants are usual, but I've made these with 1/2 cup dried cherries and 1/2 cup chocolate chips - to die for!))
  • 1 extra egg, and water (for egg wash)
Mix dry ingredients together in a medium to large mixing bowl. Add cold butter and cut into flour. (There are other ways to do this, but I usually cut the sticks of butter into small squares, add them to the dry ingredients, then mix it in with my fingers until the mix is crumbly)
In a small to medium mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients together, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix carefully until dough forms - do not over-stir!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Add the dry fruit and mix in thoroughly. Roll out on a very lightly floured surface, and cut scones using a round cookie cutter (medium size). Lay rounds on a baking sheet, evenly spaced.
In a small bowl, beat the extra egg with the water. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash - be careful not to get them too soggy!
Bake the scones for approx. 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
They can be stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place for about a week

Serve at a tea party with friends, or keep to have with a cup of tea and a Henry James or Jane Austen novel on a rainy day.

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